Friday, June 11, 2010

Why Use the Term "Change Management"?

I have balked at using the expression "change management" for many years. It just didn't seem right. How can you really manage change? You lead it. You facilitate it. You embrace it. You pray for it. You avoid it. You dutifully accept it. You really can't manage it… right? So, after considerable thought, I decided to post the following provocative question on my favorite LinkedIn change management discussion boards:

"What is the best term is to replace "change management"? Many practitioners agree that this is a poor choice of words to describe the process. What is your vote? Why?"

Brave post, eh?

There were over 300 responses to this question. Here is a sampling of some of the proposed replacement terms:

  • Change Preparedness
  • Leading Change
  • Change Enablement
  • Building Capability and Capacity
  • People and Organizational Transitions
  • Business Transition Management
  • Business Change Management
  • Business Operations Enablement
  • It's really just Leadership, isn't it?
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Managing Transitions
  • Organizational Development
  • Visioneering
  • Organizational Transformation
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Organizational Behavioral Change
  • Business Readiness
  • Transformation Management
  • Managing Change
  • Nexting
  • Facilitating "organizational lifestyle" change
  • Business Transformation Enablement Program
  • Resistance Management
  • How about "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down", or maybe Transition Management?
  • Metamorphosis Management
  • Making Things Happen
  • Change Facilitation
  • Human Transition Acceptance Management
  • Change Acceptance
  • Sustainable Change Implementation
  • Next Level
  • Transformation Process Management
  • And the list goes on… many more…

There were also many postings by those who supported keeping "change management" as the cornerstone phrase:

  • "It's the most commonly and universally accepted term."
  • "Why change it - what purpose will it serve?"
  • "Changing it will only cause more confusion!"
  • "If it isn't broken, don't fix it!"

After evaluating the diverse (and often confusing) alternatives, I have decided to change my long-standing dislike for the term "change management". That's right… I'm changing! I am now using change management to describe my change consulting offerings.

As one of the respondents stated: "Change Management, like Rock 'n' Roll, is here to stay!"

Why fight it? Just do it well!

Cheers and warm regards,
Jim Markowsky

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1 comment:

Eshan said...

Nice post!!! Change management emphasizes the people side of progress and targets leadership inside all levels of an association including administrators, senior leaders, middle supervisors and line supervisors.