What is Change Management? An introduction to the concept

"Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day"

~Frances Hesselbein

What is Change Management?

Change Management (CM) refers to any approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations using methods intended to re-direct the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly reshape a company or organization. More and more, these processes are being integrated into achieving the goal of embedding a Culture of Operational Excellence within organizations, and are understood as a cornerstone of the Continuous Improvement journey. As Business Transformation becomes a key player in ensuring Oprerational Excellence programs provide and establish ongoing, sustainable excellence cultures, the process of managing this journey becomes more and more crucial.

Why Does Change Fail The Majority of the Time- BTOES Insights

Spicing Up Your Change Equation - Improve your change management strategy

While all processes of change differ between organizations, and all individuals are unique, Change Management experts understand the most commonly seen factors in a company undergoing change, and assist in the transition to a desired goal. Change management provides a structured approach for supporting individuals in an organization to move from their own "current states" to their own "future states."

3 Levels of Change Management

Change management can take place on 3 levels, and your approach to implementing sustainable change varies massively depending on where you choose to start:

Individual Change 

Individual change management focuses on the close development and introduction of new styles and processes on a personal level. This can be honed with one-on-one mentoring or leadership, and is both the hardest to truly implement, and most beneficial - after all, successful implementation of individual changes triggers the next 2 stages.

Organizational Change

Whilst Individual Change is very valuable, it is more often than not impossible for a project team to manage change on a person-by-person basis. Organizational plan is probably the most easily recognised by those that practise regular Operational Excellence programs, projects and initiatives. Standard practise includes identifying the groups/individuals who will need to change as the result of the project, and in what ways they will need to change. 

Enterprise-Wide Change

Successful and strong Enterprise change management capabilities mean that effective change management is naturally embedded into your organization’s roles, processes, projects and competencies. With this 'end goal' of change management in place, processes are consistently and effectively applied to initiatives, leaders are almost automatically used to guiding their teams through change, and employees know exactly what to ask for in order to be successful.

Ultimately, successful management of change is not as easy as it may initially sound - but, there are a number of resources and programs available to support those on their way to Change Management success. 

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Further Chanage Management Reading:

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"When we see the need for deep change, we usually see it as something that needs to take place in someone else. In our roles of authority, such as parent, teacher, or boss, we are particularly quick to direct others to change. Such directives often fail, and we respond to the resistance by increasing our efforts. The power struggle that follows seldom results in change or brings about excellence. One of the most important insights about the need to bring about deep change in others has to do with where deep change actually starts." --Robert E. Quinn

Change Management Introductions

An Introduction to Change Management (Webinar) - Shorebird

What Is Change Management? - Prosci

10 Principles of Change Management- strategy+business

A Brief Introduction to Change Management - Paul Brown

Further Reading

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model - MindTools

Change Management Models, A Best Practise Approach - Change-Management-Coach

Lewin's 3-Stage Model of Change - Study.com

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