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Organizational Communication Optimization and ERP Success:Organizational communication and diversity

ERP organizational change consists of many disparate ideas of expectations, organizational change realities, and significant diversity in terms of knowledge, value, and motivation. In a effort to ensure alignment, communication optimization between stakeholders is critical. This is further supported by Lewis (2007) in which it is noted that interactions, good or bad, among stakeholder’s are influenced by assessments of each other and stakeholders concerns about change. Significant diversity among stakeholders groups can contribute to significant misunderstandings and misalignment.

Organizational communication structure needs to be fluid

A key point is that within any given organizational change communication model, stakeholder interactions deserve careful understanding and consideration. This improved understanding is in an effort to provide communication corrections that are in the best interest of all the stakeholders. That is, communication structures, formal or informal, often need to be adjusted in order to create an organizational environment most conducive to addressing misalignment.

A key: effectively communicate the positive outcomes 

One actionable item as noted in Olding (2013) is to be mindful that effective stakeholder communication is bottom up, top down, and middle out. Therefore, every ERP organizational change plan needs to address, allow for, and facilitate, direct stakeholder group communication at all levels.  Through an ERP organizational change lifecyle, there must be a focus on employing multi-directional communications. In communicating change it is extremely important to reflect on two points; fear of the unknown and uncertainty and lack of choice (Denning, 2005). In the merger and acquisition business, often you can encounter a business where there are lots of unknowns due to the struggling nature of a business, new ownership, rapid business growth, or significant changes in business processes. Effectively communicating how the change is intended to drive positive outcome and results is key.

A tactical tip

Communication optimization happens in many ways both formal and informal. Sharing a consistent message but tailoring that message delivery for each stakeholder group is effective. That is, speak the language of that group. Tell the group the value of change in terms of what matters to them.

Here’s an interesting video of Jonathan Rosenberg is former SVP of Products at Google talking about communication: https://youtu.be/P1T-1FqUBVY

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