Some intriguing research has recently revealed that people must notice change before they remodel their predictions and expectations.
Apparently, the main purpose for memory is to model the future (if fire hurts to touch, it will hurt next time). If we encounter changes in real life, we alter our memories to improve the predictions. If we don’t notice change, we don’t alter the memory.
Okay, that seems obvious. But consider what it means: people need to notice change before they alter behaviour, expectations or attitudes.
This underscores what we call “just-in-time” communications. That is, communication needs to occur right alongside the change we want people to notice. There’s no point telling people a long time before the change occurs.
It also supports our contention that communication needs to alert people to change, not to the lack of it. If you want people to act differently, or value something, they need to notice what is happening.
Which should lead you to think there is only value in communicating about things people are likely to notice, or in communicating so that people notice.