Earlier this week, James Lawther shared his story of researching change management models in order to expand his toolkit beyond the initial training he had received. As a result of his search, he discovered that change management models typically cover one of three different dimensions: Process (how change happens), People (what people experience during change), and Environment (designing context to support change).
While James discovered that Enclaria’s Irresistible Change Model* covers all three of these dimensions, it also includes a fourth dimension that is not as obvious.
The fourth dimension is YOU. The change practitioner.
Before starting Enclaria, I managed an “executive working group” program for Balanced Scorecard Collaborative. Clients came to us to learn and participate in research about how to develop an Office of Strategy Management within their organizations. Interestingly, the vast majority of participants were not executives at all, but instead were managers and senior managers who were responsible for implementing strategy and strategic initiatives, without direct authority. One day, one of our clients lamented, “All this stuff you’re teaching us is great, but I still need to figure out how to take it back to my organization and make it work.”
A light bulb went on for me that day, and the inspiration for Enclaria was kindled. The missing piece of the puzzle was the personal influence of individual change practitioners to make the whole thing happen.
The field of Change Management tends to focus on the system that is changing and how to objectively cause that change to happen. However, the process by which change is managed cannot be separated from the people who are trying to influence it. Each individual change agent has personal strengths, abilities, relationships, and backgrounds that inform their approach. And no two change practitioners will implement the same change the same way.
As change agents, we are inextricably connected to the organizations and the changes we implement (especially when you work inside the organization). Let’s not pretend that there is one objective, right way to manage, lead, or influence change. The best way to implement change (i.e. one that will work) considers the unique characteristics you bring to the equation, and helps you develop the ones you need to make it happen. The Influence Change at Work Toolkit helps you figure out how to apply your unique personal influence to change an entire organization. YOU are what makes it irresistible.
Building on James’s guest blog, the four dimensions of change management are:
- Process – How change happens
- People – What people experience during change
- Environment – Designing context to support change
- Practitioner – Personal influence of change.
Do your go-to models of change cover all four dimensions?
* The Irresistible Change Model has since been renamed the Influence Change at Work Model.