What is the future of change management?
Change is a constant, necessary occurrence in every successful organisation. There’s no such thing as finding a perfect formula and then dogmatically sticking with it – businesses have to adapt to changes in technology, working habits, consumer preferences and a whole host of other factors.
In recent years, the changes that organisations need to undergo are becoming increasingly complex, so we decided to explore how that will affect the future of change management as it rises to the task. For further reading, please see an expert resource such as the MovePlan website.
What is change management?
For those unfamiliar with the term, change management refers to the service where change management expertise and training is outsourced to a team of professionals. These professionals, trained to a high level in management methodologies such as Prince 2 and Prosci ADKAR, will come into the organisation and oversee the changes that need to be undertaken.
Working with the relevant employees in the organisation that has brought them in, these management professionals will help to develop a framework for the change to take place, based on concrete objectives and a clear vision. Finally, once the relevant changes have been made, they will go through a debrief process to identify successes and any areas for improvement.
The future of change management
Let’s take a look at some emerging factors that are influencing approaches taken to change management:
An evolving concept of ‘the workplace’
One of the biggest changes most organisations are currently dealing with is the fundamental way in which the workplace has changed in recent years. While the transition to remote and hybrid working models was already underway, the unprecedented challenges thrown up by the pandemic brought that transition into complete reality.
Change management professionals will increasingly need to be able to help companies make this transition, along with all the implications it has on a diverse array of issues. These issues include company culture, employee engagement, and the ability of teams to work together effectively in a remote capacity.
A focus on diffuse responsibility
Traditional, top-down power structures are likely to become far less common in the near future. As workplace models change, so are workplace paradigms; research suggests that individuals perform best when given a high level of autonomy and responsibility, within their capacity of course.
Helping organisations to make these significant cultural shifts in the workplace will be an increasingly important role for change management professionals to undertake.
Facilitating change capability within the organisation
While change management teams can help to oversee change processes, it’s increasingly being recognised that to do so effectively, they need to empower employees to help enact change themselves.
Change management professionals are most effective when they are able to facilitate an environment within organisations that can carry out the necessary changes on their own, or at least with minimal intervention. This conceptual adaption, shifting a focus from change itself, to empowerment and structure, will likely have significant impacts on the industry going forward.