Change Management Model

More than a change management model, we give you three specific and basic change management principles to keep in mind, regardless of the change management approach you decide it is most appropriate for your specific circumstances.

To see specific change management models, take a look at our change management methodologies page.

Note: Once you read this page, you will notice that the principles we give you on this page are implicit in our change management methodologies page. We decided to make them explicit for your benefit – we cannot assume that the implicit key points will jump off the page at you.

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Principle One: The human factor must be considered in the change

Typical mistake: In the planning phase, change initiatives tend to only include organizational structures, processes, and systems, and at the same time tend to underestimate the human factor.

The main reason why organizational changes fail is human resistance.

No matter how technical an organizational change might be, it always includes human interactions. Purely technical issues in an organizational setting don’t even existent – all organizational issues have the human element inside of them. change management model

No matter how technical a change might be, such change won’t be properly executed unless those directly responsible for its execution are involved in the planning process.

This principle also implies the following:

You must NOT ONLY include in the planning phase the so-called “expert specialists” for two reasons:

  • You don’t want to separate the change planners from the change executors.
  • You want to create a sense of commitment and ownership to the change.

    Principle Two: The change must be led, not managed

    Change management does not equal – properly speaking – change management. Change management should not be called change management; instead, it should be called Leading Change or something along these lines. Why? Because for real change to occur, it must be led, not managed. change management model

    Top leadership cannot delegate the change initiative if it wants it to be successful – top executives must be involved.

    Managers produce predictability, order, and short-term results.
    On the contrary, leaders produce change and long-term results.

    The main reason why organizational changes succeed is leadership.

    Transformations are about 25 per cent management and about 75 per cent leadership.

    To read more about the fundamental differences between management and leadership, take a look at our “leadership versus management” page.

    Principle Three: The change must be systemic

    Systems thinking basically means to have an awareness of the total organization at all times; to read more about systems thinking, take a look at our “what is systems thinking” page. change management model

    When we involve people from throughout the organization in the change management planning and decision-making phase, it is much easier to understand and synthesize the dynamics in complex organizations; it helps to see beyond the facts and it helps to look for patterns and interconnections among different parts of the system. To achieve this level of awareness, a wide and diverse participation is necessary – no one person or particular group can accomplish this.

    A systemic change also means that one single planning event at the beginning of the change is not enough – an ongoing learning process is necessary. The best change strategies emerge from an interactive dialogue through trial and error – not through a grand design developed unilaterally.

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    To read about change definitions, take a look at our define change page.

    Also, you might want to take a look at our change management methodologies page, and at our quotes about change page.

    To keep on learning about other useful skills, go back to the previous page, or click here.

    To learn more about the skills you need to manage the performance of your direct reports, go to our Management Skills page.

    To learn more about the skills you need to lead the performance of your entire organization, go to our Leadership Skills page.

    If you would like change management support using some of the knowledge in this change management model through our speaking or consulting services, please click on this link.

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