The Theme of Communication
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Sunday, August 14 2005 19:00|
NOTE: This is the seventh in a series of Weekly Briefings on nine major themes for implementing organizational change found in academic journals. We are looking for clues to answer the question, “Why do some men’s discipleship programs succeed while others languish or fail?” For now, I leave it to you to apply these general summaries to your men’s discipleship program. You can also apply the themes more broadly to change your business, your church, or even your family.
Billy Graham was once asked, “What is the secret to your success?” He answered, “Prayer and publicity.” He put his trust in God to produce the fruit, but worked hard to get the word out. So it is in building a sustainable men’s discipleship ministry.
The seventh theme to successfully implement a men’s discipleship program is communication. Here are factors that have been proven to increase implementation effectiveness.
A communication plan. A pervasive, organization-wide communication plan that reinforces the change at every opportunity is an important factor in implementing an organizational change (Freedman, 2003; Kotter, 1995; Okumus, 2003). Kotter (1996) suggested that communication focus on the vision, use simple language, use highly visual symbols, be done at every opportunity, be highly repetitive, be reflected in the leader’s example, address problem areas directly, and have a strong listening component.
Publicize benefits of change. Successful implementers cited communicating the benefits of the change in the organization as a success factor (McNish, 2002).
Publicize near term successes. It is important to plan for some short terms wins within one to two years to keep people encouraged, but declaring overall victory too early can harm the change initiative which may take five to ten years (Kotter, 1995). Communicating the early success of the change widely is a factor in the long-term success of the implementation (McNish, 2002).
In summary, having a pervasive, organization-wide communication plan is a major theme in implementing organizational change. Related implementation factors include publicizing the benefits of change and publicizing short term successes. Next time, the theme of resistance will be introduced.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
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