OCM 3.0

OCM 3.0 – Same, same but different?

Last night it was a terrific gathering of the CMP community of practice. In a very cleverly designed night, beautifully facilitated by Kym DeLany  and Kim Cadigan. A group of 20 practitioners worked in three groups to design a change approach for three scenarios to analyse what if anything changes with digital disruption. Scenario one, a village in the industrial revolution looking at automation of glass mouth blowing artefacts, Scenario two, the technology era – the movement from typing pools to individual PCs and Scenario three, a company introducing a mobile CRM platform.  The activities really had you thinking in terms of what changes and what doesn’t in the world of change management.

OCM 3.0

The term OCM 3.0 has started to be bandied about (or third wave change management). If OCM 1.0 is old fashioned top down planned change management, and 2.0 is more collaborative and engaging of employees, bordering on a bit of co-creation, then 3.0 represents change management that is driven by digital disruption (as the content of change), and uses data driven insights, Artificial Intelligence, agile practices and digital tools as standard in the change management tool kit.

Last night’s meeting raised a very valid and useful question: Does anything really change in what a change practitioner does in digital disruption as opposed to previous changes and transformation agendas.

Here’s how I distilled the conversation, and my views on that question.

What stays the same?

  • Commitment curve (kinda) – commitment is transient and temporary, the next change will be roughly in 9 – 18 months but we still want to take people through awareness, understanding, buy-in and head to commitment.
  • The integration of people, process, and technology to achieve success
  • The use of a generic methodology (the actual methodology may differ, but you still need one)
  • Consideration of the loss / gain ratio in change
  • Consideration of how different audience will be affected and how to make it a better experience
  • Consideration of the ‘benefits realisation’ and how long that will take

 What changes?

  • The role of the change manager in interrogating the sponsor on the assumptions behind the change. With digital disruption and increase in social media “news” – “me-toosim” is rampant. We all want to look like Spotify and restructure with squads, tribes and run business plans in sprints.  Faddish adoption of digital solutions without considering the ROI, benefits realisation require change in behaviours, identity and culture – and sometimes it seems like the only one pointing this out is the change manager.
  • The technology the CM has to do their change work – mobile and cloud based technology platforms for community management, project management, needs analysis, impact analysis, stakeholder analysis, communicating change are the norm. If you are a change manager who is not abreast of what is available and using the new digital tools you are on a fast track to irrelevance.
  • This is because big data drives insights and evidence based interventions – and you get that data from the digital tools.
  • You need this data driven insights as there are much faster cycles of experimentation and feedback loops (Build-Measure-Learn)
  • Change champions are eschewed for a more anthropological approach with consideration of the social architecture – work smarter, not harder. The tribes already exist. Empower them.
  • WIIFM is replaced by invitations and agency. Your employees have a choice and options to walk away. It is not a hostage negotiation (you didn’t give me my WIIFM, therefor I won’t change)
  •  Change work is highly transparent with less focus on control (or control is achieved through rapid cycles of feedback)
  • Change communication is highly fragmented and user generated
  •   Change planning is a co-creation and requires much greater emphasis on design
  • There’s much more integration of Agile practices into the OCM world


So all in all, yes, a lot does change – definitely the way we execute change”. But perhaps the upfront work is closer to how it’s always been done (discovery, and design).


What do you think? Does anything really change?

Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.


  1. Gail Severini says:

    Amazingly insightful as always. Gail

  2. Brian Long says:

    So where did this community of practice event take place? Interested!

    • mm Jen Frahm says:

      Hi Brian – this took place in Melbourne. It’s a group that formed back in 2009. We do meetups in other cities when there are enough volunteers interested enough to organise a venue and promote. There’s a linkedin group called Change Management Professionals where these events are promoted and discussed. Feel free to connect with me and I’ll invite you into it.

  3. Samantha Rey says:

    Hi Jen, great insights. Curious to hear feedback on digital change management (SaaS) tools you or your followers have used with success. I am looking at ChangeScout, and would love to hear feedback on that or others in the market. Onward!

    • mm Jen Frahm says:

      Hi Samantha – full disclosure, I’ve not used any of the SaaS tools with any of my clients but have had demos done of Change Scout, Pinipa and have seen what Ralleo can do. I understand that Pinipa has pivoted more towards Project Management at the moment. I think Change Scout is terrific, really impressed with that, and you have the support of Deloittes on that – I’d be very keen to working with that and Ralleo also is worth a look and as it is partnering with MS also has great integration opportunities. Let us know how you go and what you find. I was planning on doing a post shortly on other options in the market. There’s quite a few Organisational Network Analysis tools out there and I did view a Proof of Concept of a new product the other day which had some nice stakeholder engagement / change capability build functions in them.

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