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What is Change Management?

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Change management is the practice of planning and leading change.


Change management primarily describes the role of the executives who sponsor and lead programs, projects and initiatives. As with leadership, it is frequently claimed that change management is "everyone's responsibility." This can be a bit of a distraction as change management is most effective when it is assigned to a specific individual or team. Change is more likely to be successful with a strong leader, or team of leaders out front communicating, clearing roadblocks and rewarding those who make the change happen.

Primary Duties

As with leadership, change management is more art than science. It is associated with the ability to inspire people to achieve their support for change. As such, it requires more than dull factual communication but an ability to make people feel the urgent competitive need for change and buy-in to a vision of the future.
It is common for people to resist change and change management is designed to breakdown this resistance. Leaders also work to clear issues, sideline remaining resistance and reward those who drive a change forward.
Overview: Change Management
The practice of planning and leading change.
The term change management is also used to describe the process of submitting, reviewing, approving, planning and implementing change requests. This is a completely separate and virtually unrelated function to the leadership discipline of change management.
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 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
Emergent Change
Goal Setting
Impact Analysis
Initial Excitement
Lessons Learned
Message Framing
Nudge Theory
Organizing Principle
Resistance To Change
Revenue Impact
Scope Creep
Status Quo
Turnaround Management
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