Change plays an essential part in organisational success. If an organisation fails to innovate and change in keeping with the needs and demands of both its workforce and clients, it’s far more likely to fail.
Although change is a critical part of business survival, the task of initiating, implementing, and seeing through a change project to completion can seem overwhelming. This is where the Rewrite for Change™ Model becomes the perfect tool for project success.
Using the Model to guide your organisation through a major culture change
The Rewrite for Change™ Model evolved from our practical experience and observations over years of working with clients in a range of sectors and industries. The Model has five components. The way these components work together ensures that plain language becomes part of an organisation’s identity, reputation, and effectiveness.
The five components of the Model are: Set a Standard | Train | Expect |Support |Measure.
Set a Standard
At the heart of the Rewrite for Change™ Model is the Plain Language Standard — a short set of statements that describe an effective document for the organisation concerned. The Standard becomes the foundation for all other activities in the plain language project. The Standard is based on internationally accepted and evidence-based principles of plain language practice.
Train everyone to the Standard
Once you’ve set the Standard for your change project, you need to train your people so they know how to meet that Standard. Training helps your people to:
- understand the connection between plain language and an organisation’s purpose
- recognise the critical elements of plain language
- consistently apply the Standard to their own documents and those of their colleagues.
Expect everyone to meet the Standard
Once a Standard has been set, it needs to be used consistently. Success doesn’t come in half measures! Your leaders need to endorse the Standard and make their enthusiasm known.
Your people will only take plain language seriously if they know their manager expects all documents to meet the Plain Language Standard. Expecting plain language, and linking it to an organisation’s motivation for communicating effectively, plays a major part in shaping a successful environment for change.
Support everyone so they can meet the Standard
Without a planned programme of support, even the most well-intentioned writer is likely to fall off the path towards the Standard and back into old habits.
To change an organisation’s culture, plain language must be talked about, supported, and rewarded at every level. Your people must believe that ‘plain language is how we write’, and understand why.
Measure success against the Standard
Measuring is the component of a plain language standard that organisations tend to find the most challenging, yet is vital to success. When you measure your results against the Standard, you send a strong message that you’re serious about your organisational goals. You also show you expect to see results improve over time.
And being able to show a measureable return on investment (ROI) for a project is an extremely powerful result; one that you can celebrate.
Read more about using the Rewrite for Change™ Model in Part 2 of Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit.