Is change management here to stay?

Out in the market place change management is growing in acceptance and understanding. More and more organisations are putting it on the agenda, recruiting people in to change management roles. It is shifting in to the everyday vocabulary of HR, Project teams and Executives.

Well done to all those who have been influencing this thinking – change management is here, taking its place on the corporate agenda. This is great news for all of us involved, who are sure of its relevance and importance.

So how come – when so much is being said about change management, so many people are calling themselves change managers and so many organisations have change management on the agenda – how come I am feeling underwhelmed by what is being achieved?

What I see happening in organisations at the moment is great news, yet I feel that for change management to stay in the corporate agenda something needs to change.

Great inroads are being made in to introducing change methodologies in to organisations, and no reputable project manager would consider having a project plan without a change management stream. This is good, is it enough? I think the answer to this is NO.

It’s absolutely right to have the change management methodologies in place. To stay on the corporate agenda and for the change management star to shine, there needs to be more.

I think the emphasis needs to shift to managing change rather than change management. A subtle shift yet one that will make a difference. Doing this will:

1. Include discussions about managing change in all strategic business thinking and decisions. If you are asking the questions – how will we achieve our goals? You will be thinking about the way you will manage change.

2. Make it a priority for all leaders and managers. Managing change isn’t just the responsibility of the change manager, the project manager or HR. Leaders and managers should be asking themselves “What do I need to do today for my team to be productive and how do I manage the changes necessary for us to be productive in the future?”

Focusing on managing change rather than change management will also bring about a shift in the role of the change manager. Whilst using change methodologies should be there, they should be the tools the change manager uses to have relevant conversations. The change manager should become more of a facilitator, an influencer and part of the decision-making leadership team.

I see all this being particularly relevant when you are looking at cultural change. It lifts the change management emphasis beyond the mechanics to a more exciting and useful place in the business.

It’s up to all change managers to create and be part of this shift so managing change becomes a strategic leadership discussion. Good luck to everyone involved in creating this future.

This blog appeared as a guest blog for the Australian College of Change Management on 1st November 2011

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1 Response to “Is change management here to stay?”


  1. 1 PM Hut 10/11/2011 at 6:35 pm

    Change management is definitely here to stay, but I think the role of the change manager needs to be clarified. It’s very vague and it differs from one organization to the other: In some companies the role is authoritative (e.g. studying/authorizing/monitoring changes), in others the role is restricted to reporting about the impact of the change on the organization.


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