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5 Facets of Change - Revisited

[I first wrote about the 5 Facets of Change in October 2009 and followed up later in that month with some updates to the model. The two posts have been among the most popular and well received, but it occurred to me that I have never published the combined posts and explained the model in its entirety. So this post rectifies that oversight and includes my most recent thinking. I'm intending to publish an ebook in the summer describing the model and its implementation]

Managing change at the corporate or enterpriselevel is not trivial, which means it cannot be left to chance. The larger or more complex the organisation, the greater the impact of changes and the greater the possibility of things going badly wrong unless due care andattention is placed on the process of making the change.

The 5 Facets of Change is a mechanism to enable agents of change, from the senior executives, through the middle management and the people most impacted by change, to understand how change initiatives need to be organised and executed to ensure the greatest likelihood of success.

5 Facets of Change

We often talk about change management life-cycles in the same way that we think about a project management life-cycle. The problem with this approach is that change doesn't work in neat phases quite the way that a project does. Sure, we can think of start-up, execution and closure phases, as we might do with a project, but the reality is that there are a number of activities associated with successful change that are on-going throughout those phases. The amplitude of those activities in any phase will depend on the nature of the change and the environment into which the change is being introduced.

The 5 Facets model uses the Change itself as the central theme. This is supported by 5 key groups of activities which need to take place to enable the change. When we define the change in this central theme we need to look at not only the objectives and reasons for the change, but we need to anticipate how the change will integrate into the existing organisation processes, tools and culture. We can then use the five facets as strategic and tactical management activities to ensure that all aspects of change are dealt with during the transformation and transition period (and beyond).

The 5 Facets of Change are:
  1. Lead the Change - brings together the requirements for driving the change through the organisation, including sponsorship, change leaderships, change agents and the change team
  2. Communicate the Change - examines how to ensure consistent and effective communications during the programme of change, including education and training
  3. Manage the Change - describes the activities required prior to embarking on change in addition to the specific management activities required during the change. As well as general planning and management, an important component of this is measurement - understanding how the change initiative is meeting on-going goals and ultimately how successful it is
  4. Deal with the Change - focuses on how to manage reactions to the change and specifically how to minimise negativity and resistance. A failure to manage the human aspects of change are often neglected, at great cost to the enterprise especially in terms of performance
  5. Relate to the Change - looks at how to manage the stakeholders associated with the change programme, particularly those not directly impacted by the change but who still need to be aware of the plans and progress, and what the change will actually mean to them
Because of the complexity of many change programmes and the sheer number of variables that need to be considered, change is not trivial, and even good change management will not guarantee success. But good change management will reduce the risk of failure, make the transition easier to deal with at all levels of the organisation, and pave the way for further change which is essential in today's dynamic and constantly shifting world.




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