What is Change Management?

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What exactly is change management? This subject has nothing to do with pocket change, if that was your guess, and everything to do with adaptation in business. Here’s the rundown on this important business continuity topic.

Management of Change

In the fast-paced, ever-changing business world of today, it has become tremendously important to be able to adapt and evolve. In the past, being good at something virtually assured success in a one-track, more simplistic operational environment. Today, change is constant and it is a fast-acting variable that if handled correctly, can lead to great profits and opportunities. When a business is not well adapted to change, it can mean the death of an enterprise. Harvard Business Review’s Reeves and Deimler perhaps put it best – “Instead of being really good at doing some particular thing, companies must be really good at learning how to do new things.”

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With all of this said, change management is, therefore, the intelligible and systematic management of change. Planned or foreseen changes can be handled in the most advantageous way possible using such organized approaches to handling change. A business can be greatly aided in handling unplanned and unforeseen changes with such management techniques also.

Internal VS. External Management Approaches

There are generally two paths a business can take in administrating the management of big changes. First, a business may handle such changes in-house with its own staff and employee resources. This is the most cost-effective change-managing approach in most cases. In other situations, a company may choose to hire an outside management or consulting firm for the specific purpose of helping to orchestrate the management of a particular change. This approach is usually much more costly but can provide some of the most expertly trained minds to handle that important transition.

Common Managed Changes

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of changes that can lead to a company needing to take up full-scale change-managing efforts. The following are five of the top causes.

Business Acquisition, Trade, Sale – It’s fairly common that businesses today are partially or completely bought, traded, and sold to other companies. “Merger” is a common word you might have heard in this realm regarding the new joining together of two businesses into one. Such changes can be quite complex and thus require lots of management.

New Departments – Changes in departmental organization can lead to some concentrated change-managing efforts. An expanding enterprise, for example, may need to add some departments in order to handle expanded business demands.

New, Changing Brand Identity – A brand’s identity is the personality portrayed by it in order to garner consumer relatability and likability of some kind. When a brand decides to change its identity, this can be a huge change that affects all levels of operation. In order to handle it, specific, change-managing efforts are often employed.

New Products, Services – Another way in which expansion-based change can take hold is through rapid growth and the associated addition of new products and/or services. Such changes can often lead to the need for specific management administration. If roll-out and adaptation of the new products and services is poorly handled, it could spell great losses for the company in question.

Restructured Operations – Finally, there are countless ways in which restructuring needs may be caused in a business. Goods storage, headquarters location, market changes, shortages of supplies, and many other factors like these are great examples of causes for restructuring changes. The correct management of such changes is paramount to the outcome.

Managing change is what life is really all about. In fact, being successful in business is no exception to this rule. Change management is the business world’s way of handling such monumental changes.

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