Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that in some organizations the words change management have become sacrilegious and obsolete. Regardless of the reasons, there’s no need to call something change management in order to do good in one’s organization.
But what’s change management, really?
Opinions and definitions are multiple and varied. Here’s a simple model that could possibly inspire your own nomenclature of services and objectives.
When faced with a business opportunity or issue, whether it’s a matter of growth or survival, two crucial components must be considered.
Firstly, you must seek and find a solution in order to seize an opportunity or resolve an issue. Finding a solution requires creativity and a comprehensive knowledge of the organization. It may involve creating and implementing a business process, launching a new product, time management system, or organizational structure, or even making a new acquisition.
Secondly, the organization needs to prepare in order to adjust efficiently to this new reality. And that’s where change management comes into play. Every activity and tool that enables the organization to be more effective more quickly after adopting a new solution, system or structure are levers that are part of what’s called change management.
Therefore, change management includes all of the components requiring analyses and changes, as well as all of the levers that help prepare the organization so that it can implement the solution. Only when the right solution is implemented in a well-prepared organization can one hope to reap the benefits expected from the start.
To succeed such a transformation, two key elements are required: a good solution and an organization that is ready. Both are equally important. The challenge is to find a balance between the two and to remember that any imbalance between the type of solution and the state of readiness of the organization will have a definite impact on the expected benefits.
And so, what does change management actually do? It helps an organization adequately prepare to take on new challenges arising from the transformation and to avoid surprises, bringing all of the success factors on side to reap the benefits.
That said, some of you practice change management without actually calling it change management, while others will use the above description to rename it.
If the above model suits your organization, you may also be tempted to use it in other contexts, for example in project or program management, manager development programs, organizational efficiency, process redesign, etc. Regardless of the name, it’s the result that counts.