Change Management Failure: 3 Key Issues Caused by Poor Communication

David McGimpsey is a communication skills trainer, project manager and computer programmer. He specializes in coaching business people to communicate better. Born in Scotland and raised in Australia, David now calls Osaka, Japan his home.

What a disaster! 2 a.m., and sleep wasn't coming. Frustrated, Rhonda dragged herself out of bed and padded down the hallway to the kitchen. The room was dark, save the blue light shining from her company laptop on the side bench. She poured herself a cup of stale coffee from the machine and sat down in front of the cheap Panasonic.

Rhonda was angry. Despite four years leading her department—and a spotless record of developing her team and increasing profits beyond anyone's expectations—she was being treated as an irritation, an obstructionist. Her meeting yesterday afternoon with Barry, the "System X" project manager, had not gone well.

Six months earlier, Rhonda had got wind of a new project in the works. System X was the name, waste of time was its game. At least that's the way Rhonda felt now. She understood the rationale: The sales department wasn't keeping good records of the client proposals they put out, so System X would be used to track them. In a nutshell, it was a paperwork system because the sales reps were incapable of keeping their own records.

The project would impact two departments: Rhoda's operations department, which provided the proposals and fulfilled orders; and the sales department. Most of the processes Rhonda's team used when working with the sales department would have to change. Those processes …

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"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."

- Xenocrates