For being able to talk about Change Management, I need to get some background information… What is Change Management in general, what philosophies are involved here, what aspects can I expect to be covered when someone talks about Change Management?
When first googling the term, I get 1.5 billion results related to the topic and it’s good to see that quite a number of articles is from this year 2018. So it’s true that the topic is currently pretty hot for a lot of people.
One possible definition I found during my research:
Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change.
The clearest definition of this type of organizational change management (OCM) is provided by Sheila Cox of Performance Horizons who states: “Organizational change management ensures that the new processes resulting from a project are actually adopted by the people who are affected.”
Why do we need to change things? Isn’t it pretty good the way it is? Wasn’t the way we worked good for so many years now? Is all this change + digital transformation topic not just only a new fancy hype and we need to do it “because all the others are doing it”? But if all the others are jumping from a bridge – would we???
The combination of globalisation and technology made the economy to a world where competition is overwhelming. New ideas, products or services are coming up with a tremendous speed. If companies want to survive in this world, they need to be able to react to changing market conditions – and if they not just want to react but also be leading a new development or market segment here and there, they need to do everything to empower creativity within their staff.
Cloud software is so popular at the moment because it offers the right level of agility for this hectic times. Plus, it introduces mechanisms to ensure good software quality although the speed of change is so enormous.
While the tools you use are without question important on your way to a successful future, you remember the saying “a fool with a tool is still a fool”? Well, cloud software needs to be used properly to really bring benefits to the organisation.
And that is where Change Management comes on stage. Of course, in my thoughts I focus on the Change Management in the context of Digital Transformation and the introduction of new technology paradigms to the world.
Change Management in my understanding of the broad spectrum, is trying to coordinate the transformation of organisations that need to treat with new processes or technologies, e.g. with the introduction of Cloud Software.
So the leading question: How does the professional life of (IT-) employees change?
Successful companies, as Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter told s+b in 1999, develop “a culture that just keeps moving all the time.”
When trying to execute any process to companies or organisations, people tend to setup projects with established methods and measurable progress levels in form of KPIs.
- The thing with cultural change is hereby that it’s not deterministic. It’s neither logical nor predictable and not even measurable.
- That’s somehow the reason why the progress of your organisation’s transformation is not controllable. If you do A, you can’t be sure that it will result in B or maybe rather D.
- As if this wasn’t hard enough to swallow for hard-lined project managers, the maybe even bigger brick is that OCM (Organisational Change Management) is usually impacting the people pretty intensively. People’s habits will be challenged, but people like their habits. While change leads to new, unknown areas, makes people leave the comfort zones, the majority of employees won’t be too easy to convince for change. That’s why it seems also important to highlight the positive aspects of the new world where the change will lead you to.
So much for this article. Next, I’ll try to get my head around the ways digitalisation has changed the way people work (or would like to work).
- https://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/change-management (focused on CM tools & execution)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n-c6iAKFgg&feature=share (nice TED Talk!)