As a consultant at PM-Partners group, my days are spent on a number of client sites and I am involved in numerous engagements across multiple disciplines and multi-dimensional organisations.
I have taken a closer look at the organisations who have most successfully realised quantifiable benefits through effective change management.
These organisations have invested proportionately in professionals who fully understand what it takes – and are able to apply the correct proportions by way of ‘art’ and ‘science’ – to embed a new capability within an organisation.
So, from what I am seeing, I believe that great Change Managers:
- Are inherently interested in the complexities of human nature
Change management is all about the human side of change, and us humans are pretty complex creatures. Change Managers who do it well are both interested in, and motivated by, the physiological and psychological effects of change on different people. They understand the nuances of individual personal and communication styles, human responses to change (both in language and behaviour), and apply appropriate strategies with this knowledge as their foundation.
- Use “Rich communication” Techniques
Great Change Managers are flexible communicators. They understand that individuals listen best in a multitude of different ways, and use all of the different modes and media available to them to cater to these different styles. In order to use an optimal mix of communication media, they endeavour to truly understand their stakeholders; how they receive and respond to information, and therefore how best to engage and maintain their interest.
- Are enthusiastic leaders, engaging all levels
Too many organisations are still trying to effect change through either authoritarian decree, or micro-management. Great Change Managers know that effective change leadership means involving and engaging every layer in the change process, with each layer understanding the instrumental part it plays in the collective and ultimate success of the change.
- Use stories to engage people with change
Facts and figures may sound great, but do they provide a sufficiently compelling case for successfully embedded change? Great Change Managers take people on a journey by way of storytelling, which is one of the most powerful ways of engaging humans, because it does so on an emotional level. Stories embed themselves more permanently into the human mind by engaging the senses. Good stories should paint a picture of a current and a future state, engaging as many of the senses as possible, and should look to the future as though that future already exists.
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