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What are the key principles of Change Management?


In its most simple terms, Change Management is the process of guiding people to achieve a desired business outcome.

This should be a key principle but can sometimes get lost in everything that is taking place within the change environment. The process should be nurtured from the grass roots, with the emphasis placed on the interactions between people, and it should not just be a top-down process.

Clearly communicating the need for change and the benefits it will bring, along with involving stakeholders in the change process, creating a plan that is adaptable, and making sense of what is happening for those affected, are just a few other key principles of effective people-focussed Change Management. Leaders must engage in relation to the change throughout the process. This includes providing continuous feedback, so that leaders and stakeholders can easily redirect and reshape based on what is happening. It is important not to forge ahead on the wrong path just because it’s “the plan”.

Building a culture of flexibility and adaptability is crucial to support ongoing change. This means creating an environment where change is embraced and not feared. It also means ensuring that the necessary resources, including funding and staff, are available to implement the change. This is essential for achieving successful outcomes.

Finally, it is important to celebrate successes and recognise the efforts of those involved in the change process. Find the positive stories that are happening and spread them far and wide. This helps to foster a sense of teamwork and commitment to the change process. By recognising the hard work and dedication of those involved, organisations can create a positive momentum and build a culture of change.

Clear communications, stakeholder involvement, adaptable planning, continuous feedback, celebrating successes and a culture of flexibility are all beneficial principles for effective Change Management. Perhaps you’ve noticed there’s a common theme – they’re all about people. Ultimately, the key principle is people, because without people successful change can’t happen.

By Mick Brian, Head of Change & Transformation at CMC Partnership Consultancy Ltd

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