Engagement is No.1 challenge

08 Sep 2015

Top managers at 150 top companies across all industries came together to create a movement of change on zero waste. They quoted engagement as their number one challenge for successfully embedding large transformational change programmes. In this blog, David Norton, shares his view.

The CommsQuest team recently had a fantastic opportunity to help the global FMCG Unilever create a movement and inspire 150 top companies to change their thinking and actions to help reduce waste across the globe.

Our role on the day was to create a huge visual and memorable representation of the event – think of a tapestry, but for the corporate world.

The aim was to encourage delegates to share what they’d heard in the form of key messages but also explain their ideas, thoughts and actions. Some were pretty complex, so the CommsQuesters were on hand to translate them for our artists to sketch out.

It was full on and we attracted quite a crowd. So imagine my delight when the issue of engagement came up during a debate about the challenges of global change programmes. This didn’t surprise me, as I firmly believe that a lack of engagement is why change programmes often fail.

The day was a big success, and a case-study in the making for engaging mass audiences to mobilise change. Here are three of my change best-practise observations from the day:

  1. Share learnings – The whole day was around sharing experiences. Not just from Unilever, but everyone had the chance to come up with ideas, thoughts and suggestions then validate them each other.
  2. Dialogue – The room had a constant buzz in the air, but the dialogue reached much further than just the people who were face-to-face. The conversation continued on social media channels with the hashtag #zerowaste getting put into good use and attracting plenty of followers.
  3. Mix up the media – We’ve already mentioned face-to-face, networking opportunities and social media to engage audiences. But throughout the day, videos were played out as well as a crew on hand to capture the day on film. And the visuals we created with our talented artists brought a whole range of key messages, thoughts, ideas and highlights together onto one huge board. These can now be digitised for a range of follow-up collateral.

After the event, we held a follow-up session with the programme sponsor to complete the finishing touches (see photos below).

If engagement is your number one priority right now for your change plans, why not get in touch to find out if CommsQuest could help. We’d love to hear from you.

fantastic day cq IMG_4948 IMG_4932