Leading Change – Dispelling the Myths #2

“We Don’t Need Change Management.” Boy… if I had a dime for every time I’ve heard THAT phrase.

Many business leaders think that having a project plan that includes a change management component is tantamount to having a full-fledged Organizational Change Management (OCM) team onboard.

News flash: It isn’t the same. Not hardly. Not by a long shot.

But, to be fair, even if you don’t have a dedicated change management person or team on the project, change will STILL happen.

The problem is, you may not get the results you were hoping for. In fact, the results you end up with may not look anything like you envisioned at the start of the project.

Change Management Deals with Outcomes

Why? Simple: The Change Management team isn’t really managing the change per se, they are managing the outcomes. They help to increase the speed at which the business adopts the change. They help increase the utilization of the new tools, the adoption of new business processes, and the overall proficiency of the employees in the new state.

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There are studies that show a direct correlation between how well you manage change and whether or not you meet your strategic objectives (McKinsey & Company article, 2002). PROSCI, the leading Change Management firm and developers of the world-renowned ADKAR methodology, says: “The better we apply change management, the more likely we are to deliver on project objectives.”

The Cost and Benefit of Change Management

According to PROSCI, a correlation of data from over 2000 data points and collected over the period of eight years shows that initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. McKinsey data shows that the ROI captured from excellent change management is significantly higher than projects with poor or no change management, but even “poor” or “fair” change management increase the likelihood of meeting business objectives by three-fold.

The bottom line is this: You don’t HAVE to include change management on your projects or business initiatives. Unless you want to ensure the outcomes of the change, or if you want to capture a higher ROI, or if you want faster adoption, better-equipped employees, etc. Hopefully, you get the picture.


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