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21 Dec 2015

What is Change Management?

What is change management? It is leading, directing, supporting and motivating individuals as they move from one state to a different one. Let us explore the parts of this definition.

Leading is Change Leadership

When we answer the question,

The question, “What is change management?” often under states itself what is really involved in change management.

When we say change management, we should think change leadership. As a change management consultant, the term management is too timid to describe what is needed to make change successful.

People naturally resist change. They want long-term security. It is a strong emotional trigger. It shows up as the want of continuity and stability. Change disrupts these. Leadership, not management, overcomes these. As the root word “lead” implies, leadership is change.

Individuals Not People

Change begins with an individual not a people. To build anything we begin with a single stone not a wall. Focusing on people feeds the natural mistake to group things.

Such an attitude blinds us from the fact that we do not need many people to lead change. We find individuals who are most inclined to want change. There are personality types that prefer change. Facts and circumstances affect this too.

Directing and Supporting

Driving change begins with directing how the change is to occur. It is creating a change management strategy. This is the true north by which everyone can make decisions.

On the frontlines directing is showing individuals how to do things. It is also about supporting. It is giving the advice, training and tools. Key tools are processes. By their nature they give us security. They give a path to success.


Still, without the hearts of individuals this is a shell. Motivating them is about building their confidence. It is about showing our confidence in them.

We do this by complimenting when they implement a change. We follow up. We reinforce the compliment with another. We do this until the change become habit.

What is Change Management?

In the end, the question “What is change management?” has two parts, the mind and the heart. The mind answers, “How?” The heart answers, “Yes?”

The internal communication strategy for change needs to answer both. That begins with leading individuals. It means directing, supporting and motivating them. The building of anything begins with stones, not walls, individuals not people.

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