Change management is essential in almost every company. The companies especially use change management in difficult situations such as:
- Business changes and transformations
- M&A (Merger and Acquisition)
- When C-level leadership changes happen
- In restructuring and reorganizing
- When a heavy policy change is required (security changes, protocol changes, or industry standards)
A company would use change management in all of the above-mentioned situations. That begs the question— what’s exactly change management? It’s become a bit of a buzzword in today’s business world, but change management is a process with which a company effectively implements change in areas such as tech, policy, and goals; and it’s targeted at individuals, organizations, and entire companies (enterprises).
Years before, change management stood for a process that should be implemented during a project or a heavy transition, but today that has changed. Today, companies need to be flexible and fast with their changes so change management becomes a part of the culture of a company. “We are fast, strong, and adaptive. We change according to the market needs,” would be a change management statement that would be a part of the company’s culture.
What is change management?
Change management has evolved throughout the years. With the evolution, came three distinct types of change management. One is targeting individuals, the other companies, and the tier-one enterprises.
Individual change management
Every change starts with an individual. If you want to change anything, whether it’s a team, company, or enterprise, you will start with an individual. With the words of Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Drucker didn’t mean that strategy and tactics are unimportant, but that companies first need to realize that change starts with an individual and that if you don’t change the knowledge, skills, and attitude of an employee, you won’t change anything in the company.
Organizational change management
Organizational change management looks at strategies and tactics. The goal is to ensure that the strategies and tactics are aligned with what your employees can deliver, but also with the market needs. A company would use different ways of achieving organizational change management such as implementing new tech and software solutions and communicating those changes to the employees.
Enterprise change management
On an enterprise level of change management, nothing is off-limits. This is where a company would look at the mission and vision of the company and change it. This happens when a company realizes that it’s no longer competitive in the market and that the old ways of doing things need to change. No company is too big for enterprise change management and the best example is NATO (North-Atlantic Treaty Organization) that changed its core vision for the organization back in the 1990s.
The 6 essential steps of change management process
A company that decided to use change management would have to adhere to essential principles and steps that will make change management successful. The following six steps are essential for a change management process:
- Identify what doesn’t work and needs to be changed. This is the first step a company needs to take if they would want to have successful change management. You need to what doesn’t work to be able to change it.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. It’s critical always to communicate things when it comes to change management. There are so many stakeholders (internal and external) and everyone needs to know what the change is about to even consider being on board. When it comes to communication, you need to make sure that the people who are implementing the change (employees) know what is expected from them and what the new goals/processes are.
- Plan to reach a “point B.” Your starting point is A and you need to reach a certain goal— point B. Plan the steps that will lead you from A to B.
- Use data and provide training. When you’re implementing a change, you need to make sure that your employee can actually deliver the new processes. For that to happen, you need to provide a lot of training sessions so everyone gets on the same page. Use data to measure if the training (and change) is effective or something needs to change.
- Celebrate (early) success. The first 90 days of any change are crucial. Here’s where you need to achieve early wins— small successes that show you, the team, and the entire company that the change is heading in a good direction. When an early win happens, make sure that everyone knows about it and celebrate the success. That will motivate the employees to plow ahead.
- Kaizen. Kaizen stands for continuous improvement. Change management should happen almost daily, with people continuously finding ways how to iterate and improve the processes at hand.
Every company in today’s business world needs to know how to and implement effective change if they want to be competitive. Whether it’s on an individual, company, or enterprise level, the companies will have to adapt, change, and iterate their processes, goals, and standards almost on a daily basis. If you want to learn how to leverage change management to positively impact successful software adoption, you should register for a webinar that’s being held on September 23, 2021 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada).