Change management: a methodology or skill?

Do we need to master a methodology to anchor our change management actions? Which methodology should we adopt? Should we be loyal to a single methodology or take advantage of many? Is change management more a skill than a methodology? Does the way we conduct business have more impact than the methodology we use?

This was one of the issues raised by several experts gathered at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Global Conference in Las Vegas last April.

The majority of practitioners in change management seem to agree that a blend of methodologies, from which we can choose to address a given situation, is the best solution.   Choosing an approach or parts of a model that best suit a situation in order to build a customized solution is increasingly sought-after. However, for beginning practitioners in change management, applying a good methodology is an important foundation upon which to build their expertise. Nonetheless, it is in their interest to familiarize themselves with a variety of methodologies as quickly as possible to diversify their options and increase their toolbox of solutions.

Has change management become a skill to master? How can we mesh organizational culture, change management and the harmonization of practices that best suit our specific needs? The ability to influence, convince and convey the importance of change management in a given situation is critical to success. To emphasize the impact of change on productivity or the morale of the troops is a must. Moreover, it is the kind of awareness that is essential to develop in leaders so they can evaluate the consequences of their decisions on the workforce and adjust their action plans accordingly.

Therefore, another strong majority of experts in the field are concerned with the human component in times of change. To tackle this issue, it is necessary to master the art of persuasion, influencing, pushing forward and sizing organizations to be able to integrate change management into their culture. A certain flair and mastery of the human aspect in period of change are essential to the success of an initiative regardless of the type of change being considered. That being said, we find a common thread: little training or platforms provide the possibility to develop this skill essential to the success of organizations in constant evolution.

A recent informal survey was addressing a similar question within a group on LinkedIn.  Results were clear: methodologies and skills go together in change management. One could even go as far as saying that one does not go without the other.

So what do you think? Do you use a chosen, set and implemented methodology or do you have a mix from which you pick and choose? Is your workforce mastering this new skill emerging from change management? If not, is it a necessity for some groups or for all?

That is the question! What are your thoughts?

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