One Size Does NOT Fit All When It Comes to Change Management

Change is nothing new — nor are the methods for managing it.

Academics and practitioners alike have spent decades trying to crack the code on the best way to manage change for both individuals and organizations. There is no shortage of approaches — which is good and bad.

Those unfamiliar with any approach may be overwhelmed by the choices while those familiar with only one approach may choose it over any other — even if it’s not the best fit.

In order to choose the right approach, you must understand the value each methodology brings and which scenarios are best-suited for their application. In addition, you need to know how and when to customize those change frameworks in order to best equip the heads, hearts, and hands of those impacted by the change.

Understanding the different models and knowing when and how they can be best used will help you select the model that best aligns to your organization — increasing your chance for success. If none of them fit — which is often the case — consider using their concepts and tools to develop your own custom model.

When selecting or developing a change model, consider the following:

Organizational Culture:

Does your organization have a classic hierarchy where winning support from a powerful executive can make or break your project? Or is it more participative? Understanding the role of authority and decision-making dynamics will influence the way you communicate and leverage executives and sponsors.

Type of Change:

What type of change are you looking to implement? Organization, culture, process, or technology? How transformative will the change be within your organization?

Motivation for Change:

Think about your organization’s motivation for change. Are you initiating the change to keep the organization alive or are you making a change to achieve an organizational goal? How motivated are your team members to change their behavior and what do they perceive to be the risks?

Scale of Change:

How broadly does the change touch your organization? Is it feasible to manage the change at the individual stakeholder level, or does your approach need to scale across a large, complex organization? Large-scale technology changes typically require large-scale change management efforts, whereas the same model may be overkill for a smaller change.

Download our four-page overview on choosing the right change model that breaks down the pros and cons of the top six change models in use today.

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