Change is inevitable in everyday working life. From the initial announcement to implementation by the project team, the path is often full of challenges and twists and turns. But why do some organizations manage to change successfully while others fail?

In our daily work as consultants, we repeatedly realize that communication is the key to success in change processes.

Change planning is often focused exclusively on the content level, and the human and communicative components are neglected. However, a comprehensive approach is required at all three levels to organize a change process successfully.

Level 1: The content

Every change involves a content component, be it the implementation of new technologies, the integration of new managers, or the restructuring of entire organizational units. Without a clear structure and a well-thought-out project architecture, the project risks devolving into chaos. 

The choice between a classic or agile approach is crucial depending on the project’s complexity. Maintaining an overview and ensuring that the change request is a high priority is essential to avoid getting lost in day-to-day business.

It is not uncommon for change projects to fail not because of a lack of expertise in terms of content but because of the people involved. Therefore, it is crucial to allow sufficient time for interventions at the next level.

Level 2: The human component

It is rare to find ideal starting situations where all those involved and affected fully support a change initiative. Change projects are often met with skepticism and resistance from large parts of the organization. 

Why is this the case? 

People typically react with shock and resistance when surprised or “threatened” by a change. It is important to anticipate these reactions and provide appropriate interventions to address concerns and create space for sharing experiences. 

It is crucial not to take resistance personally but to see it as an opportunity for communication. Successful projects offer various formats and interventions in which concerns can be voiced, creating space for participation and exchange.

A key aspect of successful change is the targeted distribution of information that answers pressing questions and is well received by those affected.

Level 3: Communicating the change**

Clear and structured communication is crucial to the success of a change project. Employees often have different questions for project management than managers.

Communication collision

Management perspectives:

  • Ensure success and target achievement
  • Check resources and costs
  • Develop strategies
  • Evaluate solutions
  • Making decisions

Announce conclusions: This is what needs to be done!

Perspectives of those affected:

  • Is my job secure?
  • What will change for me?
  • Will my reputation fall?
  • Can I be successful?
  • What will I lose/gain?
  • How will I look? Etc.

Reaction very often: resistance! 

Therefore, setting up a dedicated communication channel in major change projects is important. Especially at the beginning of the project, it is essential that the right messages are provided by the right people and that all employees are reached. 

In addition to an information channel, opportunities should be created for those affected to provide targeted feedback. It is equally essential to offer employees opportunities to shape the change actively.


Our experience shows that many change processes are one-sidedly focused on the content level, neglecting the human and communicative components. 

Investing in targeted project communication pays off from the start, especially for large and long-term projects. A dedicated project communication role, writing regular reports, and establishing good communication channels with stakeholders are essential here.

Would you like to find out more? Talk to us – we’ll be happy to help and advise you!

Rate this post