4Cs Change Framework: Making Your Change Communications Work, Work

Creating Transformational Change Communications Programs That Work: A Fresh Approach for Emerging Leaders

Did you know?

In the world of big business, a startling truth emerging communications leaders face is 70% of all change programs fail. These failed programs cost businesses millions of dollars in lost time, money, and productivity. The difference between those programs and successful ones lies in the ability to create transformative change communications programs that beat the odds.

To better manage the complexities of leading programs like these, you need to adopt the 4Cs Change Framework. By applying this framework and supporting behaviors, you can create winning change communications strategies for your clients that transform the business while benefiting from a simpler, more effective process.

The 4Cs Change Framework – Born Out of Necessity

The 4Cs Change Framework is an approach I developed in 2013 for a major change program I led at a $60 billion global company. As the head of internal communications, I led this communications effort in addition to my day job. The $250 million investment in this change was not only a physical one, but it also represented a huge cultural shift in how employees worked together. The company was banking on this transformational change working in order to expand its growth plans in the U.S. This change program and our communications supporting it had to beat the odds.

As a communications leader your job is to ensure the strategy, messaging, and impact you’re having on the people you are bringing along on the change journey achieves the transformation it’s designed for. Knowing that about 2 out of every 3 change initiatives fail, the odds are stacked against you before you even start.

Whether working with senior leaders with differing needs, collaborating with project teams who like to give advice on how to do your job, or addressing input from lots of employees impacted, keeping yourself, your team, and your communications programs on track and effective is a herculean task.

To stay focused given the many players, activities, evolving nuances of the project, once in 100-year superstorms, and impact the change would have on employees and communities, I needed a way control the planning process while keeping my team motivated and feeling supported.

Enter the 4Cs Change Framework – a simple, effective approach to help communicators develop and execute major change communications programs. My proprietary framework helped me create effective, award-winning transformational change communications programs that worked, but it also helped keep myself and my team focused while they beat the odds.

When applied with supporting behaviors, the 4Cs Change Framework provides an approach for creating and executing transformational change communications programs proven to work in achieving the intended result.

CLARITY. Know and Stick to the Goal.

Knowing and sticking to the goal is job #1. This may sound simple, but it can be one of the most challenging things to nail down. It’s important to know what the company is striving for and why it’s important. What’s the intended outcome and why is the change happening at all? If you don’t know where you’re heading, you’re never going to get there. Get clear on the goal so you can start working toward achieving it.

CONNECTION. Engage and Involve Others.

Once you are clear on what you want, engage and involve others in pursuit of the goal. People can test ideas, theories and plans for you before you put them in place. People like to know what’s going on and why, show their support, or tell you if something doesn’t feel right. Getting perspectives from people who have different points of view is critical. One of the best ways to bring people along on a change journey is to invite them to problem-solve, bring up issues or concerns, and help you along the way as you’re developing and implementing your plans.   

CARING. Care About the Impact.

Care about how what you’re doing impacts others, the people in your life and your community. Put yourself in other people’s shoes, help others without asking for or expecting anything in return. People won’t remember what you said or did as much as they will remember how you made them feel. Employees need to know you care and feel it. Caring also means taking care of yourself. You can’t serve others if you’re gasping for air or not well. Giving more of yourself in service to others is the best gift you can give yourself.

COURAGE. Take the Risk; Do What’s Right.

Nothing happens if nothing happens. You need to act for any change to take place. To grow, you need to take risks. Be smart about what you do. The actions you take should be aimed at getting one step closer to the goal. If it doesn’t feel like it will get you what you want or to where you’re going, or it doesn’t align with your beliefs and values, say NO. Stand up for your point of view and for people who may not have a voice as strong as yours. Speak up when something doesn’t feel right and help stop the proverbial train wreck you see coming down the track. You, your team, your employees, and your leaders will thank you for it.   

To your prosperity!

For more information, join my Facebook community and connect with me LinkedIn (4) Mary Lou Panzano | LinkedIn.

About the Author:  Mary Lou Panzano

Mary Lou Panzano retired after 42 years in corporate America to pursue her purpose in life:  help people prosper, personally, professionally, and financially. As Founder and CEO (Chief Enlightenment Officer) of Panzano Enterprises, LLC, Mary Lou focuses on helping:

  • Professional communicators prosper. Whether it’s students studying communications, or junior-, mid-career, or senior communicators, Mary Lou provides coaching services to help them be even better at what they do.
  • Anyone looking to prosper in their lives. As a student of millionaires and leaders in their fields, Mary Lou shares how she applied principles of prosperity she learned to achieve millionaire status and a lifestyle of freedom, peace, and prosperity, with those looking to do the same.
  • Home-business owners prosper. Mary Lou offers home business opportunities and services such as leads, training, discount apps, and digital library systems that help businesses prosper.

Reach out to Mary Lou directly at [email protected].