So … what is change management?

It’s a question that those of us in the field get a lot. And having heard a few people try and answer the question, gee whiz it gets complicated.

Here’s the simple break down.

You know how people generally don’t like change?

And you know how businesses like to change things a lot?


Change management is the practice of helping people like the changes a lot more than they normally might.

This helps business make more money, or achieve their objectives if not financial. Change management practitioners work between the people and the business leaders.

Some of the ways we achieve this is:

  • Make sure the change being designed is a good design and the people think it is valuable
  • Work out how the change will impact the people and come up with ways to minimise the bad impacts
  • Work with different pockets in the business to understand what their expectations will be of the change and match that to what will be delivered
  • Ensure that the people who are expected to make the change, can do so (they have the skills, the resources)
  • Ensure that the people who are expected to make the change want to do so
  • Help the leaders communicate the reasons for the change, the vision of the change and the practical next steps.


Here’s how the Association of Change Management Professionals define it.

The application of knowledge, skills, abilities, methodologies, processes, tools, and techniques to transition an individual or group from a current state to a desired future state, such that the desired outcomes and/or business objectives are achieved.

‘Change management processes, when properly applied, ensure individuals within an organization efficiently and effectively transition through change such that the organization’s goals are realized. Change management is an integral part of the overall change process and ideally begins at the onset of change’.


PROSCI defines it as “Change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve the required business outcome. Change management incorporates the organizational tools that can be utilized to help individuals make successful personal transitions resulting in the adoption and realization of change”


And here’s how I tried to define it many years ago! Let’s see if I have improved.

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