The mindset with which you approach a change management project is crucial to that project’s success. If you approach it with the wrong mindset, you’re unlikely to get the change you’re looking for.
Changing the habits of a lifetime
Allanah Kalafatelis was Communications Manager at the Commerce Commission when the organisation undertook a plain language project. Allanah says in Rewrite that when she and a colleague initially set out to write a strategy for their project, they soon realised the Commission was really embarking on a culture change. They saw that highly intelligent, very experienced writers were being asked to change the habits of a lifetime.
With change management at the core of their project, and following the Rewrite for Change™ Model, the Commerce Commission then spent a full year changing their culture. During this time, the Commission trained 100 percent of its staff — and the results were a resounding success. The Commission went from winning the People’s Choice ‘Brainstrain’ award in the annual WriteMark Plain English Awards one year to finalist in the Plain English Champion — Best Organisation award the next.
Changing how people think about how they write
The plain language projects detailed in Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit are essentially all about change management. They’re about organisations trying to change the way their people think about how they write. And usually it’s not just about writing, but about all forms of communication.
When setting out on your own plain language (or any) project, you need to recognise that you’re trying to change attitudes and habits to achieve an organisational goal. And you need to keep in mind that your project is all about change management.