Monday, April 30, 2012

Managing Change

I describe my consulting practice as advising nonprofit organizations “facing or creating change.” This phrase captures some of the compelling reasons for strategic planning (Critical Issues #1: Why Plan?), but it doesn’t really address the usual outcome of it, the need to manage change.

Organizational development is a primary characteristic of a good strategic planning process—by way of engagement, transparency and learning—and this is a good start to managing the change that emerges from it.

But whether or not change emerges from strategic planning, its arrival is disruptive. Change management is the art of helping people to adapt to change—a founder who needs to be repositioned, a board that needs to take on a different role, managers who need to develop different styles of leadership, staff who need to accept changes in their responsibilities.

In all of these cases, successful management of change requires five things:

  1. Identify (or recognize) the need for change
  2. Define the change that’s needed
  3. Develop a strategy for change
  4. Implement the change
  5. Assess effectiveness
Details and examples to follow.