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Building the perfect burger: a recipe for change programme success

By 24th August 2023March 27th, 2024No Comments

Not all burgers are made equal.

You’ve got the traditional no-nonsense go-tos, the extra comforting, cheesy-oozy options, and those that pack a louder punch with big, bold flavours. But fundamentally, a burger is made up of a top bun layer (brioche perhaps), a solid base, and everything in between.

A hand holding a layered burger on a pink backgroun
A hand holding a burger on a purple background
A hand holding a burger on a green background

We can look at your change management programme in a similar way.

Hear us out…

The ultimate recipe to change programme success

A great burger isn’t just a bun, a bit of chargrilled beef, and some lettuce.

It’s customisable and lovingly designed with various irresistible ingredients to meet the unique palates (needs) of its consumer. Everything in the middle is where the good, creative stuff happens.

There’s so much more to the humble burger (change programme) than meets the eye.

The top bun: leadership buy-in and driving-thru sustained change

Whether your change management programme’s being rolled out in a single department or throughout your entire organisation, you’ll need a large commitment from executives and senior management to make it a success.

As well as sponsorship at C level, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a robust governance structure in place to push through the needs of the programme and measure its effectiveness.

The board (top bun) are always looking for evidence of a return on their investment so it’s important to clearly define and articulate the change vision; why it’s important, the steps required, and which benefits the result will bring.


Excitement, lots of it!

Your business case, covering the benefits and ‘why is this good for me, my team and organisation?’, should excite and drive enthusiasm.

Take a look at our 4Es methodology

Two women wearing glasses facing one another

Heaps of assessment

Often we expose deep harboured emotions around change. A change impact assessment reveals valuable insight, usually anonymised, for influencers to roll out the programme with people front-of-mind.

A regular drop of leadership messages

When it comes to change, people prefer to hear from execs and senior leaders, but make sure the messaging’s authentic, not forced.

The good stuff in the middle: communication, communication, and a side of communication

The biggest mistake when assembling a burger? Going overboard with the ingredients. A great burger holds together with a balance of flavours and textures that work in harmony.

The same can be said for your change management communication plan.

There are many comms channels at your disposal, here are just a handful…

  • Town halls
  • Newsletters and emails
  • Intranet
  • Blogs
  • Microsites
  • Viva Engage communities
  • Directors’ briefings
  • Posters
  • VoxPops, video, and animation
  • All-company briefings

It’s about using these mediums in a structured way to announce the change, increase exposure to the information, and reinforce the ‘why’.

But don’t rely on just one medium to talk about a new change. Your people have different communication styles and preferences (some people don’t like gherkins) and of course, each channel has its strengths and weaknesses.

A strong communications mix leaves no burger un-flipped. There’ll be no opportunity for people to use the classic “I didn’t know about it” excuse as you’ve covered every possibility for them to see, read, and absorb your messages.

Said it once? Say it another 9 times.


Stakeholder mapping

Before you can build that burger, you should categorise each stakeholder based on their level of desire to be an influencer.

A clear narrative

Storytelling techniques are a key ingredient to illustrate what the change is, what it means to the organisation, and why it matters to your people.

Cynicism management

Change is often met with difficult questions and cynics may only be convinced by empirical evidence, so anticipate this, look for quick wins, and present solid responses.

No one likes it when the burger patty sticks to the pan, but in the case of change communications, you most definitely want it to stick.

If your comms don’t land well with your audience/s, your initiative could be easily dismissed as another ‘flavour of the month’ and senior management lose credibility. Not only that, but future change programmes may also be met with widespread scepticism.

Realistically, not all communications cut the mustard, but with feedback loops you can adjust accordingly and keep banging that comms drum.

The bun base: here’s to a job well-done, influencers!

Without this element, your sandwich is quite frankly a real mess. It’s the part that gives all the support.

This represents your grassroots influencers (changemakers) – the people who’ve committed themselves to your champions programme and who should be recognised and celebrated for their efforts.

To help them be their best and reach super-user status, you need to give your influencers access to top-notch training. Train them first, train them well, and train them often on the new technology.

A group of three people standing face on towards the camera


Changemaker coaching

Coach them on what it means to be a changemaker, provide insight into the neuroscience of change and why people behave as they do.

Reward and recognition

Put your influencers in the limelight and give them all the recognition they deserve (intranet, personalised messages from senior management).


Make your influencers ‘noisy’ by teaching them to generate and share their own content. Empowered people empower people!

Lettuce summarise…

The ‘burger’ approach where solid communications are sandwiched between your leaders (top bun) and grassroots changemakers (base bun) is your recipe for change programme success.

The good stuff in the middle is where the creativity happens.

This is how you bring your change programme to life, answer the ‘what’s in for me?’, and get your people on board. The ingredients of the communications plan (channels) can be chosen according to the individual tastes of your stakeholders, making sure your key messages leave a lasting impression.

There’s a lot of craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into a great change programme (burger). It’s not easy, but when you focus on these critical elements you can stack the odds in favour of success.

A photo of a lettuce on a white background
Smiling headshot of Michelle Payne

Michele Payne

Programme Manager

Michele’s one of our Strategy + change specialists here at Inform. She brings over 15 years’ experience of leading change in complex technology-led transformation programmes for large organisations.

We’ve been helping organisations manage technology change for over a decade.

Four colourful circles arranged in a grid, containing illustrations of a checklist, lightbulb, toolkit, and anchor.

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