What is Change Management?

The purpose of business is, according to Eli Goldratt, "to make money now and in the future."  Business is a dynamic environment, whether you are talking about "for profit" businesses, "not for profit" organizations, governmental entities, sports teams or other human endeavors.  Change is a given.  We can expect the processes, products, and people of any enterprise to change over time.  Adapting to that change may involve a number of strategies.  Change Management begins with a conscious decision to implement change in a systematic way to reduce the chance that unexpected or undesired changes will be imposed by external forces.  It involves taking stock of where you are as an organization, what the environment is like where your organization is currently operating, and what appears to be happening to the environment.  It requires envisioning the kinds of changes you want to happen and planning the best modifications of internal processes, products/services delivered and talents/training of staff producing the products/services.  With vision and plans in place, change requires execution: you've built a plan, now implement the plan. Few plans actually turn out to be 100% a priori on the mark, so you must be prepared to adjust the plan as feedback comes in challenging initial assumptions or providing previously unknown information about your starting position, the dynamics of the operating environment, or the unfolding future.  With Change Management as a partner in the evolutionary or revolutionary change process you are experiencing, you can improve your chances of success as old environments become a memory and future environments become the new reality.

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