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What is Change Management?

Change Management is a term defining all the managerial approaches or guidelines to prepare, equip and support individuals and teams to adopt change in an organisation. The most common triggers for change in business are globalisation, economic crisis, procedurals and operational reviews, technological breakthrough, organisational restructuring, mergers & acquisitions, new market trends and customer demands. Change management covers a lot of business aspects and functions such as project management, protocols and procedures, workforce planning, human resources management, risk analysis, organisational design, internal communications and infrastructural development. Therefore, change managers are expected to meet a lot of business needs and in parallel sponsor the change to multiple groups of people across the organisation.

What is it that Change Managers do?

Change Managers conduct reviews by evaluating existing company resources, assets. Infrastructure, financial status and determine the need for change. Then, they propose a change management plan and support the staff to embrace change. In simple words, change managers act as business coaches for senior leaders and executives, assisting them to implement the change. They also assist during the evaluation phase in which they can monitor the change progress and the actual business results. More enhanced change management packs include coaching and training programmes, risk management and resistance management plans.

How change affects an organisation?

Because change management deals with various business functions operated from multiple groups of teams it is required that change managers are people-oriented. When “organisational change” is discussed, the words “resistance” and “tension” comes to people’s mind. It is not only the procedural effects but also the behavioural and social patterns that are going to be affected by any type of change. Many business leaders and higher managerial teams are struggling to engage people in change. People resist change because they believe that they will lose something valuable or they fear they will not be capable to meet the new needs.

Why change managers fail?

Many change management approaches are not successful, because they apply the change as a process or a project that deals with a specific issue and change is usually imposed. This approach ignores the emotional side of things. Despite the fact that change management plans require a lot of procedures and tasks, it still affects people before and after implementing a change. For instance, when a new business procedure is introduced, there needs to be a clear communication plan to engage the people involved in the process. Then, change managers need to support the leaders to inspire certainty and safety to people and reassure that the change is going to help them succeed. Great change leaders make people realise the beneficial side of a change and they can empathise with people’s emotions.

What are the basic phases for businesses to approach a change initiative?

Change management may be a minor responding to a change in a business operation such as customer support, or it could be a full scale of business improvement to stay ahead of the competition. No matter what the scale, there are five district phases in change management. Firstly, there is the change formulation and refinement phase. Next, change managers create a change management plan that goes along with early change examples. This is followed by the implementation phase and support, and the last step is to reinforce and adjust the change through effective employee communications.