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Change Management

change Management
How do you define change management? (it’s not really black and white!)
According to the Association of Change Management Professionals, it is “the practice of applying a structured approach to transition an organization from a current state to a future state to achieve expected benefits.”
That is a beautiful technical definition, but what does it really mean? Change management is what you can do to help people transition from the status quo (where they are now) to where they need to be (mindset, skill set and behaviors) in order for the change to achieve its purpose.
Change is something that will never stop and is becoming increasingly significant. It matters, because when you do it well you get the result you want. When you do change poorly you get a fraction of the benefit and may not ever achieve the results you want. The discipline of change management exists to help anyone get better results from the changes they initiate.
Here are some important distinctions about what Change Manage is and is not:
Change Management is:

  • A structured approach or framework to effectively transition individuals, groups of people or entire organizations through a specific change
  • Determining the gap between where people are and where they need to be in order to achieve success in the change, then using the appropriate change actions to get them there as quickly and effectively as possible
  • A discipline that complements and works with other disciplines (such as project management, HR, communication, training and leadership) to achieve success
  • A discipline that is required to successfully accomplish lasting success during change
  • A way to align all levels of an organization behind the same goals
  • A way to minimize disruptions of change and maximize benefits from the change
  • A means of measuring organizational progress towards embracing new structures, systems and processes
  • An art and a science. There is research and proof that demonstrates that CM works when done well

Change Management is not:

  • Training and communication (these are activities that help achieve the change, but there is more to Change Management)
  • A one-size fits-all-projects approach where you always do the same things
  • Project Management—although you still must define success, create a plan and determine/manage risks, communicate and so on, the focus is people
  • Change control, is also referred to as Change Management in a project
  • Motivating people through team building exercises to feel good about wherever the project is going
  • Emotional “touchy-feely” activities that improve employee morale or a mythical feel good exercise dreamed up by an HR Manager
  • Sending out bunches of emails and holding some training
  • The latest unproven business fad

Stay tuned next week for insights on change management

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