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Blowing away the myths of change management.....fluff bah humbug

15 December 2016
by Allegra Consulting

Do you remember when change management was considered to be the ‘fluffy stuff’ that was difficult to define and completely misunderstood? It wasn’t that long ago that change management was considered the domain of female practitioners who did colourful presentations and held softly softly conversations with stakeholders in an effort to make everyone ‘like’ the project. 

Change Management – An established discipline

The discipline has made gigantic strides forward in recent years with quality change management implementation considered to be a key factor in achieving organisational success. 

Key reasons for the progression:

Do you remember when change management was considered to be the ‘fluffy stuff’ that was difficult to define and completely misunderstood? It wasn’t that long ago that change management was considered the domain of female practitioners who did colourful presentations and held softly softly conversations with stakeholders in an effort to make everyone ‘like’ the project. 

Change Management – An established discipline

The discipline has made gigantic strides forward in recent years with quality change management implementation considered to be a key factor in achieving organisational success. 

Key reasons for the progression:

  • recognised industry qualifications & accreditation
  • professional development
  • industry bodies
  • methodologies & frameworks
  • alignment to project management discipline
  • change management success
  • recognised role conpetency framework

All of this is underpinned by Community, Collaboration & Communication

Recognition

More than ever we see evidence that change management is considered as part of business and organisational planning prior to implementation.  The change management process commences at the outset more often these day with the business thinking guided by change principles. In years gone by change was always an after-thought and the game had well and truly started before any change thinking was incorporated, not to mention a change practitioner employed.  Change professionals now benefit from the progress because their fellow business leaders and project professionals know that the return on investment with change management is very real.

Seize the Opportunity

Some might still say that change is still a black box and that what we see as a clever combination of art and science is somewhat incidental.  This is an opportunity for us to convert the sceptics and we know more than most the power of a raging detractor who sees first-hand the potency of well executed change management. Transparency and inclusion are such useful tools for us.  Involve the business and stakeholders in the process, educate them on the processes that underpin effective change management and break open that black box. 

Removing the mystery

The mystery of the discipline has resulted in a number of impacts on the industry we love so much.  Many change managers certainly benefited from the perception of the industry in the past whereby practitioners were regarded as being akin to members of the magic circle. Yes, rates for change roles were high but cynicism was rife and when change wasn’t as successful as desired blame was unequally apportioned with the change lead often in the firing line.  Having now clearly articulated the role of the change manager and the methods employed to deliver effective and sustainable change management, we have created and shaped a profession that is gaining the respect and credit it deserves.  Long may it continue!

Diane Lynch

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