The Importance of Change Management

Do you know first hand the importance of change management? If you’ve been on the receiving end of a difficult change, or you’re tasked with implementation, you won’t want to miss this three-part series! Read on to learn more about the difference between change management and leadership and why they’re so important. 

Next up in the series, we’ll cover the importance of communicating change followed by tips and tricks to help increase adoption of your change implementation. Have an example or situation you’d like our input on? Drop us a line for a chance to be featured with our advice on how to tackle it!

Change Management vs. Change Leadership

Both are important, but what’s the difference? Your Change Manager and Change Leader may not be the same person! You can think about it this way:

  • Change management is about actually managing the change: training materials, communications, understanding and anticipating the impact to others.
  • Change leadership is about influencing the change: advocating for and championing the change.

What about the actual roles? A Change Manager takes a more tactical approach in understanding the ins and outs with a broad view of the change to understand and anticipate the potential impacts and get ahead of any obstacles. They consider the best ways to communicate, train, and provide ongoing support for the change.

The Change Leader is a champion for the bigger picture. While they may not know every little detail, the Change Leader is an advocate for the change, an active and influential spokesperson who can generate excitement and alleviate concerns. Change leaders have earned trust and respect, communicate strategically, and believe in the change they endorse.

Whether these roles are handled by one person or more depends on a number of factors, including the size of the company, scope of change, and degree of impact.

What Is the Importance of Change Management and Leadership?

The number one goal of change management is to help people adapt to the change. By effecting a plan of action, strategically regulating the steps of the plan, and supporting those affected, change management can produce tremendous benefits to all involved. Nobody likes to be caught off guard – not only does managing change prepare people for what’s coming, it also creates the awareness needed to mitigate negative reactions.

What Are the Benefits of Change Management and Leadership?

It’s the typical who, what, why, where, when, and how. When these things are identified, communicated, and supported, the hurdles will fall. When people are knowledgeable about the change, feel it’s a good thing, and know where to get support, they’re more likely to adopt than fight. Benefits to managing and leading through change include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved employee experience and company culture
  • Expedited speed to market and increased adoption
  • Enhanced collaboration and communication leading to:
    • Expanded communication of unforeseen challenges
    • Peer to peer troubleshooting and support
    • Identification of process improvements opportunities
    • Streamlined processes
    • Enhanced issue identification and tracking
    • Strengthened inter-departmental relationships
    • Greater organization
    • Empowered individuals enabling their skills and expertise

Involving Your Team

People want to feel heard; this is an important part of change management—listening, talking, and then incorporating feedback. If someone complains, take the time to listen, confirm your understanding, and appease their concerns. If there is a chance of the outlined impact occurring, take it back to the implementation team for consideration and mitigation. 

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What Happens Without Change Management and Leadership?

Without managing through changes, people may think they’re being automated out of a job, or that the change will make things more difficult, time consuming, and full of red tape. Change can feel daunting, complicated, and unnecessary, but resistance is often rooted to an underlying fear of the unknown.

Who Can Take on these Roles?

Specific roles come with specific skillsets, so it’s best to hire someone who is proficient with this knowledge. Small organizations often hire a consultant (yes, Simply Hudson loves to tackle change management) to help design, manage, and implement change whether the impact is to your internal team our client base. Large organizations may also hire consultants or have an in-house team or individual. Building a hybrid project team can also provide for the skills and capacity needed to support the change.

Great change champions have a unique yet strong combination of skills and characteristics such as: 

communicationempathetic
organizationperceptive
team buildingvisionary
motivationaldetail-oriented
respectfulinfluential

Real-life Results From Change Management

Simply Hudson knows the importance of change management. We’ve helped many clients through big transitions. We love how we helped Nomad Tax transform their business! Enlisting our help from the start, we implemented systems and processes to help scale their customer base by 256% in year one and save approximately 800 hours in labor costs and $80,000 (yes, $80,000) in annual operating expenses. This year, they launched a new data capture system that we helped design and launch, further streamlining the customer experience and tax preparation process.

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We’d love to help you overcome any work challenge you’re facing! Contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss how we can help.

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