Dr. Yolanda Martin is a transformational leader in Human Resources, educational leadership, and organizational change management curriculum and instruction. In the following article, Yolanda Martin explains organizational change management, its principals, goals, and top three models most often incorporated in business.
Organizational change management (OCM) is one of the latest ITIL 4 management principles. While industry participants have different definitions, ITIL 4 says that OCM is the practice of ensuring organizational changes happen smoothly and successfully by expertly handling the human factors of alterations.
Like with many principles, Yolanda Martin says that there are plenty of ways to implement organizational change management. But those involved in heading these approaches should work to understand the concept entirely before complete implementation.
Understanding Organizational Change Management
Yolanda Martin says that OCM is best explained through considerations of what change looks like without the tools and techniques used with the principle.
For instance, when an IT department rolls out a new technology, it promises to solve many problems across the business, such as cost, speed, and effectiveness.
But, once the technology is implemented, the expected benefits may not materialize. Dr. Yolanda Martin says that this could stem from employees’ misunderstandings of the tech, failure to use it to its full extent, or more.
With OCM techniques in place, the IT department can mitigate these problems ahead of time by ensuring people are prepared for the changes to workflows and methods.
Ultimately, organizational change management is a people-centric approach that gets people to “buy in” to changes, getting them used to working differently.
Dr. Yolanda Martin says that to achieve the overarching goal, experts encourage companies to have the following in place ahead of any new structural or technological iterations:
- Transparent and relevant objectives — Support requires clear objectives that make sense to shareholders. In other words, the change should incite true value.
- Committed leadership — Daily team leaders should be on board with the upcoming changes. Organizations won’t gain the traction necessary for successful alterations without authoritative advocates.
- Prepared participants — Dr. Yolanda Martin says that all employees must be willing to participate in the change. Through adequate preparation, workers will feel ready to switch their current ways.
- Sustained improvement — Once the change has been made, OCM aims to prevent people from reverting to previous methods. To do this, leaders must continuously reinforce the new workflows or technology usage.
The Five Elements of Organizational Change Management
Regardless of the particular OCM approach selected by the organization, each holds the same five elements. Decision-makers should consider the below a checklist of everything a company needs to employ organizational change management tools and techniques:
- Communication — Dr. Yolanda Martin says that perhaps one of the most important factors of the principle, it ensures everybody is on the same page. Leaders should consider the delivery method, frequency, and tone of all messages related to upcoming changes.
2. Involvement — People must be involved from the start. Organizational changes will likely affect employees at all levels who need the chance to voice their opinions and concerns.
3. Resistance minimization — Changes die due to fear. Yolanda Martin says that preparation and involvement of all affected give businesses a higher likelihood of successful implementation.
4. Buy-In generation — Buy-ins will occur at the senior level first, ensuring companies have dedicated leadership. Generating interest via transparent communication is a key driver here.
5. Education — Businesses that ensure workers understand everything about the change are poised for success.
The Top 3 OCM Approaches and Models
Since its creation in 2019, organizational change management has been a topic on many companies’ minds. As a result, seemingly countless approaches and models exist according to Yolanda Martin.
While businesses ultimately choose a mismatch of various techniques, the top three prove beneficial for many industries.
Lewin’s Change Management Model
Kurt Lewin, a social scientist and physicist, was ahead of the curve, designing this model in the 1950s. Amazingly, it still rings true today and is one of the most popular OCM models.
The approach comprises three stages — unfreeze (preparing for change), change (implementing the change), and refreeze (stabilizing after the change).
McKinsey 7-S Model
Yolanda Martin explains that this model was developed by those working for McKinsey & Company, the McKinsey 7-S Model features these seven sages for handling company changes:
- Shared values
While it’s a popular method, thanks to the interrelated and dependent stages, it’s one that makes failure easy. After all, if one step goes wrong, they all do.
Kotter’s Change Management Theory
Finally, Kotter’s change management theory is the globe’s most adopted strategy. Devised by John P. Kotter, it’s divided into eight segments, each of which focuses on a key principle associated with human responses to change.