Define Change Management

5 Points to remember

Define Change Management

5 Points to remember

Why define change management? Because the way it’s defined might help improve how you manage change.

Can we define change management in a way that helps us understand how to manage it? We hope to do so with this article, with five key points to inform your definition. At the outset though, it’s worth remembering the words of management guru Charles Handy. Whilst a whole industry has developed to promote ever more complex models for change management:

“Change, after all, is only another word for growth, another synonym for learning, we can all do it, if we want to.”

However complex we might make the study and management of change, in reality it’s the most natural thing in life. After all, nothing stays the same!

Define change managementSo, what is change management? For a better understanding it helps to first think about change itself. It has been said that whilst change might be both natural and constant, not all change is the same. There are different types of change that may well require different approaches to managing them.

With that in mind, UK Academic Andrew Pettigrew argues that to understand change you need to understand “the process of change in context.” He proposes that change is perhaps best thought of in terms of three aspects:

  • Context – the environment in which it is happening.
  • Content – what the change is.
  • Process – the way the change is being implemented.

It is also useful to add two other factors, people and purpose. Change is difficult and complex and can often be uncertain so there is a real need to bring people with you. It’s important that those people charged with effecting change, or who will be most affected by it, are involved. Help them to make sense of the context together, whilst developing clarity in terms of the need for change (its purpose).

How to define change management

So, to help define change management in a way that helps determine how you can manage change, it’s important to understand:

  • Context – the environment in which change is taking place
  • Content – what the change actually is
  • Process – the activities and approaches being applied to manage change relevant to the context and content
  • People – their view on change, their ideas and commitment
  • Purpose – clear reason of why the change is taking place, to help realise the benefits of change management.

How do we define change management? 

Adopting processes for managing change that are appropriate to the nature, characteristics and context of the change being managed, that take people with you with a focus on achieving successful outcomes.

Making change management easier!

For some practical tips on how to manage change, look at our great-value guides (below). These include some excellent tools to help you change yourself, and manage change at work.

The best way to use these is to buy our Managing Change bundle, available from the store. We’ve bundled together five e-guides, available at half the normal price!

Read the guides in this order and use the tools in each. Then change it – on time, in budget!

5 guides, 136 pages, 25 tools, for half price!

I am designing a new Management Development programme for my company and your Goal Setting guide has really helped.

I like the way you introduced material I haven’t seen before (SHARP action) & the tools to apply the learning. The price represents really good value for money and I will be checking out more of your material over the coming months.

Matthew - UK

...something worth reading about stress...

Thank you, I trawled the net until I found something worth reading about stress and your site ticked all the right boxes for me. Well done.

Linda - UK

Your site is wonderful

I do leadership training and your resources have been helpful. Thank you for your well done site.

Pat - United States

Looking for more management resources?

Try our great value e-guides

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More

Got It