Where do you belong on the Org Chart? Most change management consultants still see themselves as part of HR or part of an IT project or any project for that matter, really?
John Wesey has asked this question on the LinkedIn group “Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP),” and stirred an interesting discussion I thought you’d like to read.
Wesey mentioned how change management professionals are often being moved from one department to the next, and wanted to know what other people think is the best place for them in order to best encourage business growth.
This question sparked many to share their opinions and experiences, which I found to be worth sharing.
Magali Croese believes that change managers should ‘ideally belong to a dedicate pool of internal consultants but be immersed in the department they have scope in.’ She follows the internal consultancy model. That way, she says, the change manager can have an efficient impact on the organization by attending meetings, but he or she will still belong to a team where they can develop and discuss change.
Elizabeth Shepherd shares her experience working on a global cross-functional transformation for the US army. This organization has a relatively large staff of commanders, specialists, advisors and administrators. Because of this, she understands why many believe that the Change Manager position in the organizational chart as well as their title is less relevant or doesn’t make a difference, but in her opinion it does matter.
Charles Muthama, who is a Change and Business Transformation professional, has been placed at different levels in the organizational chart. He has had to report directly to the CEO, in Corporate Services & HR, in IT etc. He mentioned that he was most successful when reporting directly to the CEO as then he was able to engage with him directly and “nudge” him to lean on his managers for buy-in, as well as being able to portray power and influence directly to the organization. He believes that where change managers are being placed in the organization is not as important as how you practice your trade and how you handle resistance.
Isabella Brusati agrees that Change Managers should report directly to the CEO. She believes the real problem is that many companies confuse change management with project or program management, which isn’t regarded as high values for CEOs.
This correspondence got me thinking, and it’s hard for me to pick a certain strategy from the ones mentioned there. However, this topic is highly important, for where you’re at in a company has a major impact on your way of work and also on the success of the change process. I assume that there are different solutions for different companies, and that there’s no one solution that fits all.