Change Management Process: What is Change Management?

Change Management Process

What is Change Management Process?

Change is the only constant that we can rely on in the business world. It is critical for organizations to:

• Understand change
• Promote change
• Cope with change
• Value change

Although it seems an obvious question to begin with – the differences in how people perceive change is quite amazing. We find that the easiest way to understand what change represents is to use the diagram below. In other words, you know where you are and where you want to be – all you have to do now is get there.
Change management processDrivers for Change

The drivers for change can come from multiple sources both internal and external:

• Customers
• Internal processes
• Employees
• Economic conditions
• Competitors
• Suppliers
• Technology
• Culture

Organizations have to understand these drivers for change and their impact, both actual and potential, on the various activities that allow business to be transacted. The ability to cope with the changes is critical to long term survival.

The Change-Adept Organization

To have an organization that is adept at change there are three pre-requisites

• The imagination to innovate
• The professionalism to perform
• The climate to collaborate

The change-adept organization requires three main assets that will be allow the behavioral aspects outlined above to be used for change:

• Concepts
• Competence
• Connections

These assets are required no matter what type, intensity or level of change occurs. The next section looks at the types of change that can occur.

Types of Change

There are several types of change, each with its own set of characteristics and impact on the organization.

Incremental Change
The characteristics of incremental change include:

• Mostly happening
• Evolutionary
• Can be planned
• Can be imperceptible
• Can be insidious
• May be culturally driven

Transformational Change
The characteristics of transformational change are:

• Seldom happens
• Rarely planned
• Difficult to control
• Can be overpowering
• Can be unavoidable
• May be necessary to survive

Planned Change
For planned change the characteristics include:

• Focus is on structures and systems
• Focus is on implementation & planning
• Emphasis is on the people involved because organizations don’t change – people change!

Dimensions of Change

Change occurs along several dimensions:

• Leader Driven Change
• Process Driven Change
• Improvement Driven Change
• Organizational Renewal

Leader Driven Change

Leader Driven Change may be seen where:

• An organization gets a new leader who brings with them new ideas and approaches to the business.
• The leader of the organization realizes that change is crucial to survival and pushes it through the organization.

In these cases it is vital that the leader ‘walks the talk’ in relation to the change.

Process Driven Change

The change in this instance is focused primarily on the processes where:

• Innovation is required to upgrade the process.
• Efficiency requirements are increased.
• Customer requirements mean that current processes are no longer capable.
• Best practice has emerged and needs to be introduced to the process.

Improvement Driven Change

The emphasis in this type of change is to improve areas within the organization such as:

• Development of new skills in the workforce through cross training.
• Implementation of findings from benchmarking activity.
• Implementation of best practice
• Implementation of findings from continuous improvement activity.

Organizational Renewal

This type of change is most radical in that it looks at the whole organization in terms of:

• Maximizing benefits from synergistic activity.
• Business process reengineering
• Adjustment of business activity due to market forces.

No matter which type of change occurs there are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled if the change is to be implemented successfully.

For more training and learning material like the above article on Change Management Process, please visit our Training & Development Section.

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