• Krista Schaber-Chan

Change Management is Dead – Long live Change Enablement

Over the years Change Management has become a standard phrase within organizations. Most leaders recognize that they need it and some are even willing to invest substantially in it. But like all things that become trendy or mainstream, it is time to reassess what Change Management is and how it is serving the needs of organizations and the individuals in those organizations.

Essentially, Change Management is dead – yes, you read that right. Change Management is dead, or at least in the traditional sense. There are many methodologies that prescribe the activities you are to initiate or the actions you are to perform. Many of these methodologies are good. Tried and true. But they no longer work, or at least not in the way they were designed to. People have actually changed. The average person at an organization going through change is already equipped in many ways to cope with and navigate change.

The current approaches or methodologies tell us change must come from the top down; that without senior or executive leadership the change will fail. Well, that change management is dead – long live the new change management.

The methodologies need to keep up. Why have the various methodologies not stayed in pace with the times? Where is the training and learning components in these methods? Can we truly change behaviours if we do not teach people how? Why do so many change management professionals say they don’t do training? Really? Or why do many of these methodologies focus on the sponsors and leaders yet, don’t provide real instruction on how to support these stakeholders by building their communication skills.

So, what should change about how we manage, lead, support or architect change?

Our demographics have changed. Top down driven change is important, but what is more important is building a change community.

1. Change should be supported from the top but driven and led from the middle.