Reetta Rajala: One time is enough – or is it?

The series Five deadly sins of implementing change continues:

4. Forgetting the power of repetition: even though you have already got bored with your message, your audience is just beginning to realize that there’s something in it for them.

People who are planning the change usually work on it for a long, long time. They get tired of repeated messages, supervisor communication, and the several discussions even before the change is communicated to the big audience, the employees. They forget that some people hear about it for the first time. The core group assumes that everyone else has had the time to assimilate the key messages and get bored as well.

It is important to remember that things are not learned from one time only and the details related to a change cannot be assimilated in one sitting. Repetition is a powerful tool. It can be used to ensure that people understand what the change is all about. Repeating the same message over and over again gives perspective to the topic and helps with assimilation. The easier way to get people committed to the change, is to communicate and repeat the same message with passion – by many different spokespersons.

The best way is to repeat the main points and then give some details. Only when you are already bored, many others are just starting to grasp the basics of the change and that is when the real change implementation starts.

Previous parts of the column series on the five deadly sins in change management can be found in the Ccea news section.