Sep 11, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Change management cycles through the news frequently, and with good reason—it’s a constant.

Organizations consistently change their strategies and undertake new projects to improve performance and grow.  But it’s not organizations that change—it’s the people in them who have to alter how they do their jobs to adapt to new strategies, projects, and initiatives.

Change management looks at how we prepare, outfit, and support employees to adapt to change in their organizations.

What does change managers study?  Ways to offer a structured approach to support individuals as they adapt to change—and later as the organization, or groups of individuals working toward the same goal, adapt.

Change management is critical to the success of any company.  Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why you need to learn about change management.

1. Change is a constant

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the world is fast.  We no longer live in an era where organizational change happens once every two or three years.

Organizations undergo big, complex, and interdependent changes faster than ever before. 

By applying effective change management skills, organizations can respond to individual changes more efficiently and increase their capacity to approach multiple changes at once.

2. It increases the odds of success

Knowing about change management and being able to apply some basic principles will increase your odds of success—and your organization’s. 

Change Management firm Prosci recently published research that shows that effective application of change management on a project significantly increases the success rate.  They analyzed 2,000 data point over eight years.  What did they find?  Initiatives with “excellent” change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management.

3. Managers’ reactions to change mirror employees’ reactions

It’s about mindset.  If your organization’s managers have a growth mindset when it comes to change, then chances are good that employees are more likely to adopt the same mindset.   

Change management strategies will work effectively and efficiently in organizations that have people willing to try.

Sounds simple in theory.  In practice?  A different story.  That’s why you need to know about change management.  Make the process feel accessible to others, and it will.

4. It reduces the negative outcomes of change.

When there are changes in your organization—strategic, tactical, leadership, and technology-based—those changes affect people, protocols, and performance.

Want to maximize successes and minimize problems associated with whatever changes are happening?   

Learn about change management methods and help your organization apply them to avoid potential negative outcomes.

5. You’ll acquire new skills

Managing change requires leadership—and leadership requires a growth mindset. 

What will you learn how to do?  You’ll learn how to listen to the people who you work for and the ones who work for you.  How do you learn to listen?  You need to learn how to understand what the organization needs based on what the people in it tell you—and it’s not always direct.

You also need to learn how to navigate the politics of change.  Why?  Because there are always sides—and therefore there are winners and losers.  You need to learn how to play both.

Want to learn perseverance and humility?  When the going gets tough, change managers stick with it. 

Looks easier than it is—and it’s always worth doing.

Read more about management studies.

 

 

 

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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