We at LaMarsh Global still get the question, “Exactly what is change management?” a lot. Our first reaction is to determine how to answer the question.
As change management thought leaders, we know what change management is, but the initial answer has to be gauged to the level of detail needed by the person asking.
The discussion usually begins with a clear definition from Managed Change™, our proprietary approach. Here is the standard answer we provide for the persons who will be the change management practitioners:
- The organized, systematic application of the knowledge, tools and resources needed to effect change in the people who will be impacted by it.
- Use Managed Change™ to:
- Identify and predict the source, degree, type and intensity of potential target resistance
- Accelerate the change by implementing the actions steps to reduce that resistance.
Then we go into greater detail as they are ready to hear it. But increasingly, LaMarsh Global is getting the question from senior executives. That’s great news! However, we are very careful to provide an explanation that gives them the right amount of information for an initial answer, but doesn’t ‘scare’ some leaders away.
Here’s what we say to them at LaMarsh Global:
Change management is a very simple business process that helps organizations implement change. It consists of three activities:
- Find the people who will be asked to change and figure out what those changes will be
- Identify what is or could cause those people concern or fear that could threaten the success of the change
- Build a set of action plans to either prevent or reduce the risk of failure by addressing those fears and concerns
That’s what change management is. We know there is a great deal of work, a full methodology, and tasks and tools under those three simple statements. But try out this initial explanation the first time you get this question from a senior manager and see how it works.