Summary of Communicating Change

Winning Employee Support for New Business Goals

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Communicating Change book summary
Forget the CEO's speech. Managers who want to connect with employees should empower and inform front-line supervisors.


9 Overall

10 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Nearly every CEO of a large corporation believes that words directly from his or her mouth will inspire front-line employees. Five decades of research show just the opposite, explain consultants and authors T.J. and Sandar Larkin. Their investigations emphasize the importance of communicating change through low-level supervisors, a group that has more credibility with front-line workers. They maintain that CEOs must go beyond simply telling supervisors what to do; they must also listen to these key employees and empower them by taking their suggestions seriously. The authors provide plenty of real-world examples to bolster their case. recommends this clearly constructed argument to CEOs and to anyone charged with communicating with large numbers of employees. This engaging treatise, a classic, is ready to persuade its next crop of managers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why traditional corporate communication methods do not work in reaching front-line employees;
  • What workers really care about; and
  • Why supervisors are the key to influencing your employees.


Communicating to Employees: Forget What You Know
When a corporation must tell front-line employees about major changes such as layoffs or strategic shifts, the method of communication follows predictable scripts. Everyone is herded into a massive conference room to hear the news directly...
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About the Authors

T. J. Larkin and Sandar Larkin are directors of Larkin Communications Consulting, which has offices in New York, London and Melbourne. T. J. holds a doctorate and attended the University of Oxford and Michigan State University. Sandar previously worked for an international bank.

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