The Essential Aspects of Change Management


When organizations want to successfully launch any kind of change initiative, they need to focus on both the culture and behaviors of their workforces. In the below model by management consultant Steve Cartledge, you’ll notice a number of references to both culture and behavior.

Organizations that launch successful transformations start out with a sort of “diagnosis,” in which they pinpoint where they are now, where they would like to go and what they’d like to achieve. This means bringing into account everything from long-term strategy and market conditions to talent availability. They define the cultural shifts required to achieve their goals, specifically by identifying the desired behaviors on the part of their managers and teams. They next figure out how to align their operational systems and processes to the new culture they’re trying to instill. Other organizations may put their main focus on the behavioral side of their transformation by building a behavioral roadmap for their members to follow. Companies often bring in trainers to develop specific programs or resources to engage members of their workforce in the behavioral and cultural changes that are being made.

Regardless of the order and primary focus of their transformation efforts, organizations that achieve success spend a lot of time making their senior leaders champions of cultural change. This could be called “role modeling.” These senior-level internal champions communicate the message of change into their organizations, steward and sponsor the effort, and keep everyone motivated and aligned around the changes. Often, change derails around a lack of visibility or clarity on the part of the leader delivering the change message, so having champions of the transformation embedded in the leadership level of the organization is essential to success.