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Communication issues

Senge, in referring to communication during major change, provides instructive comment that is relevant to all staff involved in merger or federation processes:

'It is important to help them see that the story you are telling is ''on their side'' and therefore worth listening to. It need not align perfectly with their point of view. But it needs to show that their point of view is treated fairly, and that they are not cast as an outsider.'


In general, good practice suggests that during times of considerable organisational change there needs to be:

  1. An increase in the amount of communication.

  2. A focus on producing accurate and high quality communications.

  3. The use of multiple channels of communication to accommodate a range of personal preferences and which encourage engagement, development of productive relationships and commitment to the vision.

  4. Repetition and explanation of key messages.

  5. A common approach to communication across all merging or federating institutions.

  6. Horizontal as well as vertical (both downward and upward) communication.

There is no one formula for achieving the above six elements, but they describe approaches that may have a part to play.

This guidance was developed in 2012 and will be reviewed.

Your feedback is important so let us know where you have used it or how it can be improved by contacting Linda McLeod, email: