Change Management Is a Process

If you have not heard the term “Change Management” used as a discipline, it is easy to see how it could be dismissed as the words chosen for describing that one is dealing with the change at hand.  As in, the leaders whose activities relate to the thing or things which are changing are doing “change management.”

Change Management as a term, however, is defined by Prosci* as “the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.”

*Prosci is the creator of the ADKAR® model of individual change, and the certifying body for several of AJC’s Change Management Consultants.

Understanding Change Management as a discipline opens the door to recognizing that Change Management can be taught.  When we understand that Change Management can be taught, we in turn recognize that there are specific processes associated with Change Management.  Recognition that there are processes to learn de-mystifies Change Management, and that can be liberating.

Why is it liberating to recognize that Change Management is a process?

To know that we don’t have to be “born” with something, that we can “learn” it, allows us to use our growth mindset and frees us to try, assess, and improve on things. Understanding Change Management as a process to be learned can then follow the Focus on Improvement Virtuous Cycle that we described in this article.

Here are two ways that you can use specific Change Processes to understand your team’s ability to change:

  1. Conduct a Baseline Change Readiness Assessment – refer to this article for the baseline tool
  2. Follow up regularly as you move through the change or the response to see how the team improves over time – refer to this article for the re-iteration tool
AJC Focus on Improvement Virtuous Cycle

And remember:

What you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do.

– Norman Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth