Why We Need to Start With WHY (when communicating change activities)

Feb 03, 2023


So one of the most common challenges I see change practitioners face is the that struggle is real to articulate the ‘why’ of the change activities and do this confidently with their stakeholders.

So today I'm going to give you an example of how to communicate the ‘why’ of some change activities effectively.

And before I kick off, I just want to recommend a great book, if you haven't heard of it, which is ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek.

Now, so many great correlations between change management and this amazing book.

I'm sure a lot of you have heard of it, but if anyone hasn't, this is definitely a great read to reinforce why oh why we need to start with why.

But let me give you an example of how this can come to life with change activities.

So, for example, instead of just talking about, let's say, doing an impact assessment,

we might say something like this.

“Hey, stakeholder.

So, I wanted to sit down with you today and really start to work together on how we can plan out moving

your people from A to B when we implement Microsoft teams.

I know that this has been a long journey getting to this point, and we want to make sure we get this as right as possible.

But as you are the expert in your space, I want to work with you really closely on this because you know your team best.

So, what I was thinking we could do is really start to get down on paper and start documenting how your team is going to be affected by some of these changes.

You know, we know we've got this system that we're rolling out, but there's also going to be some process changes in your team.

I know you mentioned you had some of the work instructions already documented, so we're going to need to get things like that updated as such.

So, what I was hoping we could do together is really sit down and do this activity, which is called an impact assessment.

You may have heard of that before or been involved in something like that…”


But then if not, then you go in to explain what the impact assessment is.

But the purpose of why we need to start with why is we need to start with, well, why is this relevant to our stakeholder in the first place?

Is just doing an impact assessment relevant to them?

No, they're not going to give a rat's arse about that, to be honest.

And fair enough, they've got their whole team to worry about because their role is to be a leader of the team.

But what do leaders care most about it's?

Their team moving to the future state as safely as possible.

And that's what we want to tap into with our leader.

So always start with why.

Always meet your people where they are, stay people-centric and really think about your stakeholders unique needs in that situation.


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Hello, I'm Jane Waterson

Founder and Director of Change Management at
Delta Mash

Delta Mash is your go-to resource and lifeline when it comes to managing change. I created Delta Mash to fill a gap globally in the change management industry and supply people managing change with the right on-demand knowledge, tools and strategies that are critical to being successful when managing and delivering change.

Why am I heading down this path? I’ve been there. In 2014 I commenced by first change analyst role, but when I went hunting to learn more and hone my skills, what did I find? Zero on-demand support.

Through trial and error, testing and learning, I worked my way up to leading change management teams for national transformation projects, and I have been fortunate enough to have worked globally and manage complex change across finance, education, infrastructure, technology, health, media, energy and resources. And I’m here to share all of my experience with you.

So, have you been searching for more information and support when it comes to managing change?

Maybe you’ve been finding some-what helpful advice, but not exactly what you need right now to help solve your immediate change management problems.

Or maybe you are gearing up for a big change or transformation project, or you’re even partway through, and just feel stuck.

So if you are ready to step into your true self, and build your confidence with a paycheck to boot. 

I have the blueprint for you.

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