Change management is a legitimate field and a practice that every organisation needs to take seriously. Unfortunately, it is largely misunderstood with managers and leaders thinking change management is jargon. Some managers and leaders think they can send out an email on a Monday for Training on Tuesday, and then check change management off their to-do list for good.
While it is sometimes referred to as the soft side of change, managing the people side of a change is often the most challenging and critical component of an organizational transformation. The people side of change has a massive impact on every organisation, and there are countless consequences for disregarding it. If change is not managed effectively and as a whole, then it defeats the whole purpose of the change.
WHAT IS CHANGE MANAGEMENT?
Change management takes care of the people side of change. Organisations make huge investments in new projects every day, but it is all for nothing if the people impacted by the changes are left behind. The return on investment (ROI) of these changes will be more dependent on how individuals in the organization embrace the change than how well you draw organization charts or process diagrams.
According to Prosci®, change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve its required business outcomes. It is the systematic management of employee engagement and adoption when the organization changes how work will be done. Ultimately, change management focuses on how to help employees embrace, adopt, and utilize a change in their day-to-day work.
What Change Management is not…
Change Management is a lot but it certainly is not;
- A set of checklists
- A communication strategy
- End-user training
- A lot of hype and activity
Change management is not just communication, training or managing resistance. Effective change management follows a structured process and uses a holistic set of tools to drive successful individual and organizational change.
Change is challenging, but when managed effectively, it can be one of the best investments an organisation can make.