Putting the spotlight on Change Management
For organisations change is quite often a necessity, mainly due to external or internal circumstances. What makes a difference is the way they deal with it.
Change happens – constantly. It is like swimming in an ocean current, in that it gives you only two options: resist and exhaust yourself, or ride it and work together to optimize its benefits and minimize its risks.
For organizations, change is often a necessity, due to external or internal circumstances. Variables may include financial and political crises — like the 2008 Great Recession, which is still affecting companies worldwide — trade union or new government regulations, new technologies and new market opportunities, mergers and acquisitions, planned abandonment of certain areas of business or plants; etc.
What makes a difference is how an organization deals with change, whatever its nature and scope.
Change Management – an overview
Our Prosci® methodology defines Change Management as “the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.”
Basically, it’s a structured approach that starts with the individual and spreads across the organization and its culture. Prosci® identifies three levels of Change Management:
- Individual change is at the core of the methodology, focusing on the people side of change. To guide people through a change, you need to know how they experience change and what is the key for engaging them for a successful transition. Prosci®’s framework for individual change is the ADKAR® Model, which explores the five milestones a person must achieve to change. It helps people recognize their own barrier point that is preventing them from changing. Once they have identified this point, they can start dealing with change.
- Organizational/Initiative Change Management is connected to change at the project level, in order to identify and support the people who will have to change within a project. After having identified these groups/people, you then need to develop a customized plan to define what employees need in order to change successfully, in terms of leadership, coaching and awareness.
- Enterprise Change Management Capability is the extent to which the entire organization has adopted and embedded Change Management into its processes, roles, structures and leadership. Full Change Management Capability means a Change Management-conscious organization, where all its people from executives to employees respond to change, new strategies and technologies very quickly, applying a systematic and strategic approach.
A vision of the future of Change Management
Being a relatively young discipline, that only recently has grown to become a systematic approach, Change Management suffers from a biased view of organizations that don’t see it as a valuable asset.
Thus, according to the practitioners who have attended Prosci®’s courses over the past six years, some of the biggest challenges for Change Management are:
- Change Management is somehow recognized as important but nothing is done to put it in practice
- There are unqualified change managers
- There is confusion around activities, like communication, training and methodologies
- Resistance to change in general, and to Change Management, because it’s perceived to slow down projects
- Tensions between Project Managers and Change Managers
- Limited internal capability
Source: Prosci Best Practices in Change Management 2016
Despite the obstacles and challenges a change practitioner must face, Prosci®’s Best Practices report participants forecast some interesting trends for the next 5 years:
- More integration with project management
- A maturation of the discipline of Change Management, with wider and increasing use of methodology and tools
- A stronger focus on building internal capabilities and core competency
- More recognition and acceptance of Change Management as a discipline
- Increased awareness, development and engagement on an executive level
- General awareness of the need for and values of Change Management
Source: Prosci® Best Practices in Change Management 2016
Our own experience, working with hundreds of organizations and change managers reflects some of these; we deliver more change management courses each year, and find integration with project management is a hot topic in many organizations, and building a change management capability (Enterprise Change Management) is a key focus for the enlightened executive.