Great communication is essential to land successful transformation. But despite knowing this, many still struggle to communicate clearly, concisely and with conviction. It can be daunting to find the right communications strategy, especially when looking at complex changes and projects. To help understand what we can do to be better communicators, change communications expert, Lucy Eckley joins Oliver Banks.

Listen to this episode to discover:

  • Why we struggle with delivering great communication.
  • What great communication looks like.
  • How story and narrative can help boost your communication.


Introducing Lucy Eckley

Lucy EckleyLucy is MD of communications consultancy The Leading Story and works with organisations to co-create a compelling narrative for their corporate change programme. In turn, her client’s employees understand the change and feel involved in it – boosting the chance of a successful transformation.

She focuses on building change communication strategies, folding in elements of narrative and storytelling. Plus, she coaches leaders and change practitioners to communicate clearly and effectively. And she mentors communicators who are new to change.

Lucy brings over 20 years’ experience as a communications professional. After a business degree, Lucy spent a decade working in corporate communications, providing strategic communications support to CEOs and leadership teams at some of the UK’s best-known
companies in the financial services sector. Since setting up her consulting practice in 2010, she has advised a range of large international clients on change communication strategy.

Lucy is passionate about the role of narrative and story in change and transformation. Also, she’s on a mission to inspire leaders and change professionals to focus on the people who are at the heart of change and transformation yet are so often overlooked in favour of systems and processes. Also, she believes we should focus more on the ‘why’ of change and the future vision not just the mechanics of what’s happening when. And finally, to rethink how to resource change communication.

Connect with Lucy Eckley on LinkedIn.

Find out more about The Leading Story. And check out The Leading Story podcast too – the new series is coming soon.

Learn more about great communication

LinkedIn discussion about what great communication looks like

In the episode, Lucy mentions the LinkedIn discussion. She asked her network about what good internal communication looks like. Some great responses in the comments. So be sure to check out the conversation – and why not join in too!

Bridges’s Four Ps framework to define and improve narrative

William Bridges is an expert on managing transitions. He identified “Four Ps” to help people to communicate effectively and successfully. The episode touched on these, so in summary, the four Ps are:

  • Purpose describes the “why” and explains the reasoning and aims behind making the change.
  • Picture describes a vision for the future that will fulfil the Purpose.
  • Plan explains the steps needed to get to the future vision or Picture.
  • Part includes the actions that a specific person needs to do in order to deliver the Plan.

Smith’s CAR framework to help tell stories

Paul Smith (not the retail brand) defined a simple three part framework for telling stories. His “CAR” framework includes three elements:

  • Context explains the situation that sets the scene for the story.
  • Action describes what happened, and who did what.
  • Result is the final element and describes the end of the story (hopefully a happy ending).

More episodes of the Retail Transformation Show to listen to

If you enjoyed this episode, then also listen to these other episodes. Firstly, in episode 203: Fundamental And Incremental Transformation, learn more about these two key types of change. Great communication is critical to both – to ensure delivery, minimise confusion and avoid overwhelm.

203: Fundamental And Incremental Transformation - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Also, in episode 191: How Story Opens Retail’s Great Adventure, Spiderman comic book writer, B.Earl joins to share tips to better use story in transformation communication.

191: How Story Opens Retail's Great Adventure with B.Earl - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

And finally, as discussed with Lucy, communication is a key skill for transformation leaders. So in episode 130: What Makes A Transformation Superstar, learn how communication combines with other skillsets to best deliver transformation.

130: What Makes A Transformation Superstar - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks


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