What is change?

Transitions. Moving from one state to another.

What types of change are there?

Physical and emotional. In business, the types of change involve transitions needed to People, Processes and Performance in order for the business to keep up with customer demands, increase profit, or just survive! Type of change might be: something new, modified or removed/retired in any aspect of People/Process or Performance.

Why do we need change?

Because the context in which a business is operating is changing and evolving everyday – the methods and inventions of the 20th century have transitioned into different stuff now, with new generations leading the way! Social networks have equal importance to hierarchical ones, so businesses need to keep reinventing themselves to keep up.

Why do we need change management?

To give you some ‘discipline’ to thinking and managing change in organisations, but you need great leadership too to drive that discipline and ensures it has the momentum. Leaders make change happen, not managers. Change Managers can’t do it alone. Leading change and Managing change are different sides of the business change coin.

What is good change management? What are the benefits?

Good change management will provide you the essential frameworks and provide the necessary discipline to take the action needed around: –

  • Assessing the impact (scale & complexity)
  • Realising the benefits
  • Regular & effective communications/engagement
  • Governance /decision-making
  • Allocating budget and resources
  • Measuring progress
  • Regular monitoring against agreed CSFs/KPIs.

But it will not give you the content or the drive needed for change, this is where leading change is essential. Being present. Being clear on the destination. Constantly communicating, building capability internally and navigating the organisation through the journey. It gives you the right questions to ask at the right time, such as:-

  • Do I know why we are doing this?
  • How do I honestly feel about it?
  • What do I need to do to ‘role model’ the future state?
  • What patterns are appearing?
  • What are others thinking and feeling about this?
  • What lessons are we learning?

Accept it won’t go to plan, its complicated – stay on top of it!

What are the consequences of bad change management?

Consequences of bad change management –  No shift in the mindsets and beliefs of the people, therefore failure to sustain the change. No capability built. At its worst, it is a ‘tick the box’ exercise by leaders who don’t want (or fear!) to engage with the difficulties of the change process.

How has the change industry transitioned itself over the years?

There are so many contributing factors that have given rise to the change ‘industry. To name a few, the rise of technology enabled functions that previously were undertaken by humans in hierarchical structures; the ‘information overload’; social networks and the loss of control and authority over access to information; super-start-ups disrupting traditional business models; changing global business contexts (such as the GFC), There is a need for businesses to ‘get better at change’.

The early 1980’s gave rise to the Quality movement, global standards such as ISO 9000 and new ways to deploy earlier teachings of Kaizen and LEAN Six Sigma etc. were everywhere, these enabled industries to focus continuous improvement.

The late 1990’s and early 2000s gave rise to ‘Change Management’ as a profession. Constant focus on process re-engineering, had created a vital disconnect with the impact these ‘improvements’ were having on people. Interestingly, the true meaning of Kaizen, was never well interpreted by Western cultures. That caused a need for a split away from Project Management, which was seen as the ‘technical’ side of transition delivery, and more focus needed on the human transitioning of change – Change Management.

Today, we talk ‘Agile’, to cope in an ever changing and dynamic world. Change is the norm, so the focus is about ensuring people are equipped with the right mindset for change, and know which methods to apply within any given context. Trying to keep discipline and momentum is very hard, as is letting go of power, control and perfection.

Tomorrow, who knows? However, we do know that change is the norm… so when Millennials run our corporations and all us older folk retire – there will be a decline in the need for it as a ‘profession’ – it is hard wired into the younger generations. There will be different industries created that we have no consciousness of today. Exciting times.