Being a change management leader is a big responsibility. Change management is one of those fields where you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, because of the checks, balances and obstacles that are inherent to the concept. Having so much of a human element in, there are going to be challenges that are impossible to provide guaranteed, keen solutions to overcome.
A change management leader must deal with not only the opposition and freezing that people have to change, but a leader must also maintain a certain distance as a professional, while at the same time being approachable and congenial. Handling human nature is a difficult thing.
So, what are the roles and duties a leader in this field must fulfill in order to make this all work out? There are a lot of them, and if I go into too much detail with any of them, this will become convoluted and complicated quickly. So, this will be a jargon-free, simple look at what leadership must do in order to make change work.
So, implementing change brings about some specific sciences, such as training, needs assessment, logistical tracking and budgeting, psychology and sociology as well as a good sense of keeping time tables, planned processes and the like.
A leader in this field must work with all of these disciplines quite well. As such, they should be educated fairly extensively in these disciplines ahead of time. The first thing I mentioned, which is competing with the resistance factor, falls to good analytical skills first, defining the need for change, and defining the benefits and the problems solved. With this information, good sales skills help to get people involved to get behind it, rather than follow their natural instinct to resist it.
After this, one of the big roles that makes this such a tough practice is handling people to motivate them and point out flaws, without alienating them. This is worsened by the natural feeling people may divine from the existence of a change project of feeling somehow insufficient.
This isn’t something I can give advice on, nor can anyone.
As far as training, a leader in change must be open to new training methodologies, and not defaulting to those old hat classroom models, which just don’t work. Making the training effective and engaging makes them more receptive to change. Whenever you gamify something, people seem to take to it better. Go figure.
Now, along with this, good communication skills must be employed to communicate progress to stakeholders, and to communicate goals and corrections in the changing environment.
Finally, another kind of obtuse factor that must be dealt with is the analytical skill of implementing change at a pace that doesn’t stall an organization, or have a consumptive time budget. That one’s all about a tight model and defining goals well, and we’ve covered that at length.
A change management leader needs to be a jack of several trades, so it can be a daunting job to perform, or to get into. But, it can be a rewarding career, and it calls for exercising creativity. If you’re a thinker and you’re good at logistics and people, consider this as an alternative to being in marketing or something similar.
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.