What Is Change Management?

 In Change Management

What Is Change Management?coursedetails

Management of change draws upon theories from many disciplines including psychology, engineering, and systems thought. There are many models available. For example, Lewin’s Change Management Model splits the change process into three key stages known as “unfreeze-change-refreeze,” while Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model provides a more comprehensive guide through change.

All theories on change management agree that change cannot be achieved in isolation. Change impacts all employees and the entire organisation in some way. However, with effective change management, everyone can adapt and embrace the new way of working.

Why Is Change Management Important?

A change management plan can help facilitate smoother transitions. If you don’t have a plan to implement, monitor and report on the success or failure of any change you can make, it’s impossible to mandate them. No matter what type of change you are looking to implement, change management will give you greater control over the whole process.

Change Management: The Benefits

You can do the following with change management:

  • Set clear goals and track results
  • Develop strategies to implement change efficiently
  • Balance multiple aspects of the change process, including people, processes and technology.
  • Well-thought-out management is key to all changes, no matter how small or large. People and organisations don’t naturally change. Without proper management, there will be barriers to success and a waste of time and money. Successfully implementing lasting changes requires change management.

How Change Management Works

It’s important to understand the principles and tools of change management by applying them to specific areas of your business.

The Four Principles of Change Management

  • Understanding Change
  • Plan Change
  • Make Change
  • Communicate Change

Let’s take a look at each one individually, and then let’s discuss some of the tools and techniques you can use to make them work.

Principle 1: Understanding Change

You must understand the benefits of change in order to promote them successfully. Think about the following:

  • What you should do to make a difference. What are your main objectives?
  • What are the organisational benefits of this change?
  • What will this do for people?
  • What will this mean for the way people work?
  • What are the steps people must take to make this change happen?
  • You might also find it helpful to consider the negative consequences of not making the changes.

The Change Equation shows that there must be enough dissatisfaction about the current way of doing things for change to succeed. People must also feel that the new approach is better and that there is a clear way to get there.

Principle 2: Plan Change

It is not possible to make effective change happen by chance. Any plan that you create must be tailored for your company. Each organisation’s approach to managing change projects will be different. Some organisations have rigid change processes, while others have more flexible and open-minded approaches.

You should consider the following:

  • Sponsorship. How can you engage, secure and use sponsorship and high-level support for the change?
  • Participation. Participation. Will you require external expertise? Or, can you make use of your own resources?
  • Get involved. You can only make change more effective when you have the support of everyone in your business. What are your plans to do this?
  • Impact. Think about what success looks like. How can you determine the impact of the changes you are trying to make and how do you assess it? What are your goals?

You have many tools to help you plan for change.

  • Burke-Litwin Change Model can help you create an approach that fits the structure, dynamics, and context of your current business.
  • Leavitt’s Diamond can be used to help you understand the impact of any proposed change on people, structures, technology, tasks, and people.
  • You can use Impact Analysis to discover the unexpected consequences of changes.
  • SIPOC Diagrams can be used to assess the impact of change on your suppliers, inputs and processes.

successful change managementPrinciple 3: Implement Change

How can you make positive change? We’ve seen that there are many ways to put your changes into action.

  • Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model explains how to infuse urgency into your actions so you can build momentum and get everyone behind your efforts.
  • Change Curve reminds us to be aware of the feelings of others while we put our plans into action. It shows us the stages we go through when we experience organisational change. From shock and denial to fully committed to the new approach.
  • The Bridges Transition Model can be used to guide and support people during periods of change. Mind Tools Club members and corporate members can listen in to the Expert Interview with Susan Bridges, transition consultant.

The following steps will help you implement positive change.

Make sure everyone involved understands the importance of the changes and what they mean. You should establish success criteria and regularly measure and report on them. Identify all key stakeholders involved in the change, and map them.

Recognise any training requirements that need to be met in order for the change to be implemented. Designate “change agents” to help implement the new practices and be role models. You can change the habits of people so that they adopt the new practices as a norm. Ensure that everyone is involved in the process of change.

Principle 4: Communicate Change

Communication is a key component in managing change. You must make sure that the change you are trying to implement is clear and pertinent so that people can understand why it is important. You must also set the right tone to get the desired emotional response.

It is a smart idea to connect the changes you are planning with your organisation’s vision or mission statements. This will help people see how the change will positively impact the “bigger picture” and will provide them with a shared vision of the future.

Good stakeholder management is also a must. This will help you to communicate the right message to the right people at the right time and get the support you need.

You can use the ADKAR Change Management Model to communicate your changes. These are the five main points you need to address in your communication.

Awareness of the need to change
Desire to participate in and to support it.
Knowledge (of how you can change).
Ability to change.
Reinforcement (to maintain the change over the long-term).

Summary

A structured approach to implementing organisational change is called Change Management. It acknowledges that change can be painful and can have a profound impact on both the organisation as well as the people involved. To learn more about this process, models or principles call our team for a customised session to suit your organisational needs.

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