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19 Examples of Change Management

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Change management is the practice of leading difficult change that faces risk and opposition. The following are illustrative examples.

Resistance to Change

Change management is based on the observation that organizations tend to resist change such that a management team that issues a change strategy would be naive to think this strategy will be implemented without significant direction and control on their part.

Voice

A primary reason that people resist change is that they don't feel consulted or that change is pushed at them. As such, a basic approach to change management is to involve stakeholders early in the strategy formation process to give them a voice.

Message Framing

Change management requires communication designed to build support and understanding of a change. This resembles marketing whereby a change is sold. For example, a memorable catchphrase that helps everyone to understand the core benefit of an initiative.

Anticipating Objections

Anticipating objections is the process of planning to handle likely criticism. This is important to change management as change is hardened with criticism as opposed to pushed out with one-way communication.

Direction

Generally speaking, groups can't form a reasonable strategy without a leader who provides direction and vision. That is to say, that group decisions tend to reflect the social dynamics of the group as opposed to rational thought. A change manager is a leader who takes charge to provide strategic direction.

Trust

Leaders must delegate responsibility to many people to achieve a large change. This can be described as a process of trust. Leaders essentially decide who to trust and communicate this trust by granting responsibilities, resources and authority.

Control

Control is the process of monitoring and measuring things. People are trusted to achieve their responsibilities but this is also monitored and measured as part of change management.

Visibility

Directly engaging people at every level of a change to understand it end-to-end. This is required to identify issues and agents of change.

Issue Clearing

Change management quickly detects and clears issues. This requires much authority and/or influence such that change management is an executive function.

Organizational Culture

A culture emerges within a firm with the shared experience of the organization. This is beyond the direct control of management such that influencing culture is a hard management problem. For example, an organization that has experienced painful failed projects may develop a culture of change fatigue whereby employees adopt a defeatist attitude towards aggressive new strategies.

Agents of Change

In any change effort, people will emerge to push things forward. It is the job of the change manager to identify these agents of change and give them resources, authority and rewards.

Sidelining

In any change effort, elements will emerge that try to derail change, slow things down or use the resources of change to pursue their own agenda. The change manager works to sideline these elements.

Stakeholder Management

Managing communication to stakeholders and influencing them to clear issues. In some cases, major stakeholders must be sidelined. Again, change management requires significant influence, leadership prowess and authority.

Scope Management

Change managers need not be project managers but they do need to understand project management issues such as scope management. For example, a change manager should be able to identify a project with runaway scope that is unlikely to be successful. In this case, the project is immediately restructured.

Risk Management

Allow everyone to identify risks, record them in a risk register and look for opportunities to treat each risk.

Change Management Plan

A change management plan maps out the activities of the change manger. This is mostly a communication plan that outlines how issues, risks and progress with be monitored, measured and communicated.

Change Failure

Managing failures to recoup value, restructure things and move forward again. Identifying and managing failure is usually better than operating in a state of denial.

Benefits Realization

Benefits realization is the process of owning a change until it produces business results. For example, a product manager who is both responsible for developing a new product and for its revenue upon launch. Separating implementation from benefits realization tends to be problematic.

Last Responsible Moment

It is often a mistake to spend months planning a change with the expectation that it will be implemented as planned. Change often involves significant discovery such that it is often productive to change, learn and change again in quick cycles. This can be described as a last responsible moment approach.
Overview: Change Management Examples
Type
Definition
The practice of leading difficult change that faces risk and opposition.
Related Concepts

Change Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about change management.
Agents Of Change
Anticipating Objections
Bias For Action
Big Bang Adoption
Business Change
Business Stakeholders
Business Transformation
Change
Change Agent
Change Analysis
Change Characteristics
Change Drivers
Change Fatigue
Change Impact
Change Management
Change Plan
Change Planning
Change Principles
Change Process
Change Readiness
Change Resistance
Change Risk
Change Strategy
Choice Architecture
Communication Mgmt
Contingency Planning
Crashing
Defeatism
Emergent Change
Goal Setting
Impact Analysis
Implementation
Influencing
Initial Excitement
Internalization
Lessons Learned
Message Framing
Mission
Nudge Theory
Organizing Principle
Pull
Push
Resistance To Change
Restructuring
Revenue Impact
Scope Creep
Sidelining
Status Quo
Turnaround Management
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