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Three Change Management Misconceptions Every Business Should Know

I’ve posted before about change management being misunderstood with and as communications. But, there are also misconceptions about change management for those who know how it is, just not how to do it. Let the debunking begin! Misconception #1: Change management can be implemented during a launch. Timing is key. This is like not preheating your […]

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March 13, 2013

I’ve posted before about change management being misunderstood with and as communications. But, there are also misconceptions about change management for those who know how it is, just not how to do it.

Let the debunking begin!

Misconception #1: Change management can be implemented during a launch.

Timing is key. This is like not preheating your oven before you bake cookies – you are just not ready. (And, let’s be frank, cookies are probably more palatable and exciting than any changes you are trying to make in your organization.)

You need to build an appetite for the change across the organization and that takes time. The best time to introduce change management is when the change is decided. The more prepared you are with customized communications, preliminary feedback and active champions….the smoother the path to change.

Misconception #2: Change management is changing an organization.

Now this is not a complete misunderstanding (and therefore not the worst misconception!). You will be changing an organization. But, it’s made up of groups and teams which are individuals. A good example to illustrate this one is if you rolled out a new dress code which required employees to wear uniforms. The entire organization would represent the change when each person wears the uniform. But, those who do not wear the uniform stand out like sore thumbs.

You must overcome the barriers, challenges, and concerns of each individual in the organization to create change. It’s like the old sports adage – you are only as strong as your weakest link. Focusing on the various types of resistance across the organization and addressing them will increase the probability of changing being accepted and sustained…one by one.

Misconception #3: Change management is about checklists, FAQs, and quick reference guides.

Change management is more complicated than a package of resources. There is a science including proven structures, processes, and frameworks (check out LaMarsh, McKinsey 7s or ADDIE) and an art to change management (read up on the psychology of understanding individuals and behaviors).

As a result, even the most ideal resources will not prepare an organization to change. Change management is designed to solicit feedback, engage individuals and promote intended behaviors. All of these items cannot be done through a checklist, FAQ, or a quick reference guide.

Do you know more misconceptions? Debunk them here!

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