Define Change Management
5 Points to remember
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!
So, 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:
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).
So, to help define change management in a way that helps determine how you can manage change, it’s important to understand:
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.
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.
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!
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