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10 Myths of Change Management

Change management is so critically important, and sometimes so critically mishandled. Wouldn’t you like to be part of a business that makes good on all of its new initiatives, instead of just that one time in 2004? Scott Span leads the way with 10 change management myths in an article for Business 2 Community.

10 Change Management Mirages

  1. Change is easy.
  2. People do what they’re told.
  3. Planning is enough.
  4. Leadership can relax.
  5. Dissenters are few.
  6. Dissenters can be sacked.
  7. Change will happen quickly.
  8. Technology is the key.
  9. The customer is secondary.
  10. That random model is applicable.

Change is not easy. An effective leader already recognizes that teams, individuals, and organizations do not simply change at a whim. And even when people try to do what they’re told, they may not have picked up on what you were actually asking. You’d better make sure they know the “why” and “how” before you expect such unflinching obedience. Knowing how to properly articulate yourself is part of planning, and a good plan is of course essential… but not still quite enough. Even if the plan is “realistic, actionable, and customizable,” you still need effective change agents to make it work.

About leadership not being able to take it easy, Span writes:

Yes, leadership needs to be involved. Change should align to organizational strategy. Leadership knows strategy, they know the direction they want to go; they have the vision (hopefully much of this is translated to the workforce.) When people don’t see leadership involved in the change, and not committed to success, they figure it’s just more lip service or a fancy fad – so why bother getting committed themselves.

Don’t ignore the needs of committed dissenters, however small their number. Including and affirming employee concerns is how you make change happen. Resist the urge to minimalize or sack those who resist you like a bloodthirsty dictator. If they are passionate about resisting, convince them to become passionate about the change. The deeper the change, the longer it will take for it to be achieved. That is a key lesson of project management.

Technology is extremely helpful in moderation, but don’t fall into the trap of throwing technology at the change; someone will get hurt and the resultant clutter will be distracting. Likewise, it’s a myth that customers do not need to be involved in change processes. Remember that their satisfaction is your ultimate goal. Every change should require their input. And finally, it helps to be aware of change management models. Aware is the key phrase here. Don’t let abstract thinking get in the way of on-the-ground needs. Context matters!

Read the original article at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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