Change Management in the middle

Stuck with CM too low and too late as a leader or practitioner?

If you are sitting in that spot you probably have little control or influence over corporate strategy, the strategy for the change rollout (if there really is one), the ownership of the initiative, the accountability of leadership tied to the initiative or overall timing. If you are interested in doing things “right” you are in for a long haul.

What you might want to try is to be influential, make a difference, in the speed and acceptance of the change. At its core that is what CM is about. So you are simply leveraging your core competency.

Some suggestions:

  • Strip away extras (that suck up budget) like readiness assessments
  • Focus on descriptions of a changed environment rather than end states
  • Go with “because” as an answer to why (I know cringe factor there) and be helpful and available
  • Communicate context to the timeline (rather than the strategic bigger picture)
  • Accept that CM can be a project management add on and then practice CM (reach out to leaders, mentor, distribute supporting information to grow awareness, illustrate cross functional collaboration, etc)

Part of the reason CM is approached the way it is with most models and most organizations is because of the thrown in the middle pattern. Initially the idea of CM was to speed along projects. It had an “insertion” basis and so the gurus developed models to address that client need.

Things have changed; stakeholders get it and expect more.

Organizations made up of lots of people and lots of group think move slowly on the change scale.

I am beginning to think that to push that boat takes organic change management in the middle, with leaders, with new employees added to each and every change and operational tweak. If speed is the final measure then addressing that first and making a difference on a smaller scale may be the light for tackling the bigger, wider change as a web approach.

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