Back to Basics – Organizational Change Management Definitions You Should Know

At a previous job I held, I was taken under the wing of a senior manager who was tasked with showing me the ropes. He was an absolute genius, the top of his field. He was highly valued by the company – the only problem was, he wasn’t a very good teacher. I spent the first two weeks on the job staring at him open mouthed wondering what was going on.

 

I understood half of the terms coming out of his mouth and spent the majority of my lunch breaks pestering my new co-workers about terms that I’d jotted down.  

 

An idea came to me to put together a list of terms, lingo and just general jargon to help you all. At some stage or another, we are all in a position where we need to teach. This list has the possibility of being a useful tool that anyone training a new employee in the organizational change management field can utilize.

 

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Let’s start from the top, what is Organizational Change Management?

 

Change management is the method used to move a company from point A, where they are now, to point B, where they aim to be in the future. The goal of change management is to make this transition as smooth and painless as possible.

 

What is a communication strategy?

This is the concept which outlines the strategy for giving over of information, policies and long-term goals within company. It is critical for effective change management to put a communication strategy in place to aid communication throughout the process.

Company Culture, never heard of it?

The company culture refers to the framework of the company and its employee’s attitudes, values, behavioral norms, and expectations. To put it simply, the way things work in a company.

 

What’s the ROI?

This is one of the most frequently used expressions – it stands for Return On Investment. If you had to put a price on on the value of change to an organisation, you would measure it as the company’s ROI. Return on investment is a measure by how much you’re getting out as a ratio of what you’re putting in.

With regards to change, you would measure the amount of money spent on implementing the change against the how much money the change has saved your company or how much it has improved the company.

 

What is a stakeholder analysis?

A stakeholder analysis is simply what its name claims it to be: an analysis of all the people within the company that stand be affected by the change initiative–either in a capacity where they are on the receiving end or they are the ones controlling the process.

 

To perform a stakeholder analysis, one needs to ask the right questions to define who the stakeholders are, to understand their needs and expectations from the potential change, where they fit into the company hierarchy and their attitude towards the change.

 

A burning platform?!?

 

Imagine the platform beneath your feat is burning, you are faced with an immediate crisis situation where you have to act now and make a change! This is idea behind the change term “burning platform”.  

 

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A burning platform can be an organization facing a huge problem where an immediate change is required. Surprisingly, burning platforms can be engineered to force change or sustain change.

 

You want Agile change?

Agile change management uses iterative and incremental development strategies and is most often associated with, but not limited to, software development. In simpler terms, this means developing systems through smaller steps and more frequent changes. This is opposed to making changes at the end of development. This method helps encourage positive responses to change while decreasing the amount of time and effort that would be dedicated to a flawed system.

 

What is the “as-is” state?

This is the current situation in the organization–as it is at the moment. It is the starting point of change with the goal being the “to-be” state which is the desired future situation in the organization.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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