The Benefits of Change Management

The Benefits of Change Management

Change Management and Implementation/MGT 362

 

In business and in life, change is a big part of being successful. Not only is change a good thing, but it is accelerating at a rapid pace. If we want to keep up with a fast paced, ever changing, technological world, we must learn to not only adapt to change quickly but embrace the process as well. It is necessary for survival and success. 

Change, itself, can be difficult, complex and unsettling. It can often bring many uncertainties with it, making it very uncomfortable and even unwelcome. The lack of control, the uncertainty of potential outcomes, the embarrassment or the possibility of failure can feel extremely stressful. Even with these complexities, change is actually a very naturally occurring process that happens quite frequently, whether we want it to or not. After all, change is just another word for growth and another synonym for learning. We all possess the ability to adapt to change; it is something we should do because nothing stays the same forever.

Change management involves a guided process to transition individuals, teams or organizations from state to another. The ultimate goal of change management is to achieve the desired change with the maximum of positive benefits and efficiencies and a minimum of negative effects on all stakeholders. It is important to adopt a process for managing change that is appropriate to the nature and context of the change being managed as well as the culture of the organization.

Effective leaders recognize that change is inevitable and they are prepared, flexible and adaptable. They acknowledge the importance of change, inclusion, and communication throughout the process of change. They take the time to plan and prepare. They do this through clear and concise rationale and anticipated benefits.

In my role as a Special Project Coordinator, I am responsible for overseeing and supporting 15 elementary schools. Within those 15 schools, we have around 65 employees. It is my job to ensure each site has adequate coverage to run a quality program each day. My supervisor recently asked me to take on summer planning. This entails planning our entire summer program, booking field trips (internal and external), scheduling our employees while working around and honoring time off requests, vacations, employees’ contracts and more. In addition to all this, I continuously heard how disastrous previous summer planning went and how poorly it all had been executed. In fact, previous summer programs were so poorly executed, when it came time to see who was interested in working summer, very few replied. This was a very clear indicator that I needed to change the way our summer program was designed. This is proving to be a huge undertaking!

When I realized the enormity of this project and all the details involved, I decided to put together a Summer Planning Committee. This committee was to be comprised of 5 Site Supervisors and a Change Manager. While overseeing the committee, I would ensure all projects are executed on time and according to schedule. When I proposed the idea of a summer planning committee and a change manager to my supervisor, I emphasized that a change manager would certainly prove its worth and help forge the project forward. I was very clear about what we needed and what the Change Manager should produce. The role and benefits of the Change Manager is outlined below:

Fortunately, my supervisor embraced my summer planning proposal. Not only did she allow me to form a committee, she also allowed me to create the role of a Change Manager. I attribute the success of my proposal as well as the favorable outcomes it produced to my years of experience, knowledge and willingness to innovate.

  • The Change Manager will clearly identify the objectives and desired outcomes of the Summer Planning Committee.
  • The Change Manager will help the Summer Planning Committee members understand what role they play in the project and ensure they execute their designated assignments.
  • The Change Manager will assist the team in processing the many emotions that accompany any transformational initiative while ensuring few hold ups occur and with as little friction or tension as possible.
  • The Change Manager will assist the Summer Planning Committee and entire Student Care team in quickly moving through the process of reacting and adapting to change.
  • The Change Manager will ensure the Simmer Planning Committee stays on track and adheres to the timeline and budget established.
  • The Change Manager will engage Summer Planning Committee members by inspiring their adoption of a new way of working.
  • The Change Manager will keep the Special Project Coordinator informed of progress through weekly meetings and will request additional support as needed at any time.

I understand and embrace that change is ever present in the management field and, as a manager, it is important to embrace change as it happens while also encouraging others, (especially those you lead) to embrace those changes as well. It is extremely important when doing this to always practice effective and transparent communication throughout the entire change process. Without transparent communication, you may lose your team’s trust. Without their trust, you may lose your team’s loyalty and possibly commitment.

There will come a time in every manager’s career when they will need their team’s unwavering trust and loyalty while a new policy is being implemented or a new service or product is being offered on the market. Due to unknown outcomes, it is imperative to get your team on board and to trust you as you lead the way. It is essential that you concisely convey that the outcome will be far more beneficial than the uncertainties or not implementing the change at all.

References

Weisbord, M. (2012). Productive workplaces: Dignity, meaning, and community in the 21st century (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pfeiffer.

Gibbons, P. The Science of Successful Organizational Change. Retrieved from https://phoenix.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323576151/recenthttps://phoenix.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323576151/recent

Chitta, K. (2014). Change agility: Leadership, transformation, and the pursuit of purpose. Charleston, SC: Createspace.

McGannon, B. Organizational Change Management. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Leadership-Management-tutorials/Organizational-change-management/456826/505779-4.html?srchtrk=index%3a1%0alinktypeid%3a2%0aq%3aChange+Management+Bob+McGannon%0apage%3a1%0as%3arelevance%0asa%3atrue%0aproducttypeid%3a2