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Organizational Change Management

Organizational change management is tough work. There are many moving parts that all affect business transformation: personalities, politics, organizational restructuring, technical requirements, shifting environments, emerging opportunities, unplanned crises, and all this in a tangle of information overload.

The master tool for managing change and cutting through this mess is the full-scale engagement of your Most Valuable Players (MVPs). These people are the powerful influencers who make widespread, sustained change a reality. Chapter 3 of Getting Change Right is dedicated to identifying and activating these players. In fact, the book is a manual for running a change initiative.

You absolutely can get your MVPs working together on multiple fronts to see strategic change through. That’s what Getting Change Right is all about. I detail how. I chunk the primary activities of organizational change management into achievable tasks. For each there are templates, frameworks, and step-by-step instructions drawn from on-the-ground experience in real-life change.

Managing Change

Business transformation and organizational change goes beyond strategic planning and project management, yet that is where many efforts stop short or fail. They do a good job of laying out the intentions of organizational change. But, for a constantly shifting playing field you need people to drive the change, keeping their eye on the ball as they adapt to new circumstances.

Your drivers are your change leadership team, champions, and ambassadors. Each of these has a different role, pushing the change agenda forward. I detail who they are and how they work together in Chapter 3 of Getting Change Right.

You must effectively master the art of turning every supporter into a change agent who owns the way forward. This requires new management and leadership competencies, built around knowing how to involve and spark enthusiasm in the right people appropriately and effectively. These are not the standard competencies taught in most programs, but those specifically geared to getting change right. For more information, read about Executive Leadership and Management and Leadership Development.

Creating a Change Management Plan

Let’s cut to the chase. Without engagement, you won’t have buy-in. An effective change management plan is built on strategic engagement, involving people in the good work and results of your initiative. Their involvement is the heart of change.

A good Change Management Plan serves its readers, enrolling them as it helps them understand what you are doing, why, and how. The plan must be customized for its audience. For example, a plan for senior management may be part of an investment proposal. Then it would include resources required: time, people, and money. However, a plan to share with external stakeholders would not include this level of detail. Instead it would spell out their role and the critical importance of their participation.

Here are the general components of a Change Management Plan to be adapted as needed:

  1. Overview – Lay out the circumstances requiring change, the benefits including the return on investment, and the required integration between the senior leadership team, training, communications, and support.
  2. Role and function of the Engagement Team – These are the people who will take the lead on creating enthusiastic support among all stakeholders by involving them in two-way conversations that educates and wins buy-in.
  3. Conditions for Success – Outline the critical enablers such as strong leadership and responsive decision-making, committed participation from key leaders, and adequate investment of resources.
  4. Strategic Foundations for Engagement – Provide the core principles that will establish credibility and responsiveness, maximizing participation across the board.
  5. Objectives – Articulate the results to deliver and how each will be carried out.