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Change and Change Management

 Change was once a discrete event with a beginning, middle, and end. At the end things got back to “normal.”

Today, change is a constant; multiple changes happen simultaneously with no “normal” in sight. Change can carry companies and their employees toward a successful future, or into a limbo of change for changes’ sake, or even into oblivion.

So what determines a company’s fate?

The successful organization:

  • Is agile and responsive; taking advantage of changes in markets, technologies, and processes
  • Plans for change and knows what changes to make and how to make that change happen
  • Builds a high tolerance for change, and continuously improves its change management capabilities

Change is not the enemy. It can unlock the possibilities for future success. As a student of change for almost four decades, I have watched change move from an isolated event, to a constant for many of my clients. And without a comprehensive change management strategy there is little hope for a future.

Like so many important business concepts, change management has become trivialized and diluted by being given a multitude of meanings. Change management loses its impact and usefulness without the proper tools to understand and practice it.

What change management IS and IS NOT

  • Change management IS . . . The methodology that hardwires change and the ability to adapt it into the organization. It includes applying change-related research and experience in a systematic way to every business project. It means building systematic thought about change into every business decision. It requires organizing this knowledge about change into a repeatable, teachable framework that is constantly refined and improved. Changes become an integral part of the way companies work and the springboard for more and constant change.
  • Change management is NOT . . . training. It is not communication. It is not process analysis and re-design. Change management is a key competency that must be built into the very fabric of the company; a structured methodology that incorporates training, communication, listening, and process analysis and re-design. It is a way of thinking that becomes part of defining the organization.

In what ways do you think about change management differently today than in the past? 
Jeanenne LaMarsh

Jeanenne, Executive Director of Consulting Services, founded LaMarsh & Associates, the predecessor to LaMarsh Global, and developed the innovative Managed Change™ model and methodology that has been used for effective change management by hundreds of organizations over the past decades. Connect with Jeanenne on LinkedIn here.

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