Not the only players on the pitch: misconceptions in change managementNot the only players on the pitch: misconceptions in change management

Misconceptions in change management

Not the only players on the pitch: misconceptions in change management

‘I have done everything I possibly could: I communicated, gamified, workshopped, patted on shoulders, explained and even begged… And you know what? Still nothing. I just do not know what else can I do to make this change stick’ – confessed a seasoned client of mine, a resolute change manager.

Does it resonate with you?

The landscape of change management frequently confronts its practitioners with a confounding dilemma: neither the project team nor the stakeholders within organisations grasp the responsibilities of the change professional. Drawing from my own experience, I have put together a list of common misconceptions for you to take away to your next one-on-one.

You are not the only player on the pitch.

Successful implementation and adoption of the new status quo is not the sole responsibility of the change manager. You facilitate, navigate, lead and experiment, but the leaders and impacted employees play a crucial role in implementing and sustaining change. They must be made aware of that. And preferably at the start.

Email is not enough.

This applies to any type of communication supporting the end result. As a change manager, you can be a comms expert. However, the message can come from someone other than you. It would be best if you utilised the intricate networks within and skilfully let the news disseminate. 'Who' says 'what' makes a big difference. Please take my word for it.

There are important considerations particularly in fields like healthcare, finance and involving AI, and the conversation about the ethics and culture needs to be woven into internal code of conduct and translated into values, ethical leadership and culture.  

Test and adapt. Continuously.

Change is not linear and is not easily aligned to distinct phases. You are responsible for continuously adapting, refining and checking in with your project cohort and, most importantly, with impacted colleagues. Do not follow any methodologies mindlessly. It will simply not work.

Our profession is responsible to initiate the dialogue and unravel these misconceptions. It may seem Sisyphean now, but collectively, we can catalyse the change.

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