Ideas: animations for organisational change

People  - and I know I’m generalising – have been through a fair few changes at work.


They know the drill now. They’ve seen Program newsletters, FAQs, impact workshops and team leader briefings. They’ve attended vendor training for off the shelf software and then logged into the live system to find it configured completely differently. They have heard senior management presenting passionately about a new culture program that resulted only in a glossy booklet.


How can we engage these people about the exciting new changes occurring for their teams over the coming months?


Well we can go with the flow. Online behaviour research is telling us that when these people finish work they are watching short videos online, either to learn or to entertain. For a growing number of young people (and many not so young!) YouTube is now the primary search engine. And increasingly organisations are adapting their internal communications channels to fit these emerging preferences.


Change leads and program managers are casting around for new and interesting ways to inform and engage. Here are some fresh ideas that we have tried with Brisbane clients of our Sticky Stories business.


  1. Travel to the future: Nothing tells the ‘why’ story like traveling into the future to find out how it the change will really work, or what might make it successful. It’s also a great way to communicate some ‘lessons’ before they are even learned. Check out Presence of IT’s Sticky Story to hear two executives do a post-mortem on their HR Cloud implementations.
  2. Interview a cartoon character: When people are gathered for a management forum or all-staff meeting they are expecting a series of dull updates with some illuminating graphs and a pep talk. So it was a bit of a surprise for the audience of an internal roadshow when the organisational change lead of a major program interviewed an animated cartoon character to find out more about how customers would benefit from the upcoming changes! We’ve included a version on the Change Mania home page, with the interviewer questions added in.
  3.  It’s funny because it’s true: People will relate to characters who are experiencing the same problems they encounter in their normal work. Dramatising everyday annoyances can be a great way to communicate the benefits of new technology. Our document management examplehighlights that current hassles like losing files and storing paper records can be left behind.
  4. Make your own story: Great for engaging people in fleshing out desired values and behaviours – use a workshop to generate the stories and examples that illustrate the right behaviours and are meaningful to employees. Then  ‘enshrine’ these examples in a fun animation that shows the examples in action. Even better, the launch of the animated story is a great opportunity for CEO messaging and reinforcement of the values.


And every time we chat with change professionals in our networks, more creative ideas come up. We can’t wait to see what an internal communications campaign looks like in our big corporates five years from now…