40 Years Looking Back on Change Management
As I approach my 40th year as a student of managing change I find myself reflecting on the changes in how change management has progressed. And it has progressed. We who dedicate our lives to this work should be both proud and humbled by where change management is today in our organizations and the organizations we serve.
Proud because we have come so far. Change management is now recognized as a critical and integral part of the changes organizations are making. More and more we hear, “Where’s the change management plan?” “What is being done to deal with the resistance this change will trigger?” Many of you have jobs specifically described as change management professionals. The Association of Change Management Professionals and other associations like it around the world contribute to the recognition that ours IS a profession…one that organizations recognize and value.
We are learning how to integrate the work of change management into the overarching project management methodology when that exists, or six sigma or lean as change models that incorporate change management, not just have it sit alongside and get lost in the drive to achieve the change. Our data collection processes are better. Our ability to analyze that data and drive risk mitigation activities from that analysis have improved dramatically over the years. And we can now determine the cost of that risk mitigation and the return on investment that will result.
But we also need to remain humble. We don’t know it all yet. We still struggle to find the best way to prevent or reduce the risk to change that comes from the difficulties people have when faced with change. We have so much more to learn. Keep challenging yourself the way that LaMarsh Global is doing. Keep sharing with others in our profession what you learn and how you improve. We’ll keep doing the same.