Change management has become a powerful model for organizations pursuing growth, improvements, consolidation, course corrections, and innovation. Without change, many of these opportunities would be lost. Although change exists everywhere and is continually occurring this does not mean organizations, stakeholder groups, or employees will embrace it. This is because change often represents the disruption of the status quo.

When organizational cultures are unaccustomed to change the status quo becomes the yardstick by which performance and opportunities are measured. Performance and opportunities that extend beyond existing competencies, practices, and comfort zones are considered non-essential to the organization’s effectiveness. Change management is then limited to tools, methods, and practices that are familiar and do not push the comfort zone too far.

The problem with this approach is that the organization’s competitors will not be limiting themselves to these same constraints. Neither will customers as they seek out new product/service providers who are better able to solve their problems.

The change management canvas can be used by organizations to carry out changes in a systematic way that incorporates stakeholder interests, goals, and priorities. Most change efforts fail because of a lack of stakeholder engagement, planning, and communication resulting in resistance and the surfacing of obstacles that interfere with the effective execution of the change management plan. The change management canvas also helps to find the pressure points, mechanisms, and processes for ensuring communication throughout the change effort.

In “Management consulting: A guide to the profession” (Kubr, 1986) 9 primary steps in a change management project:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
  2. Form a powerful coalition
  3. Develop a vision and strategy
  4. Communicate the vision for transformation
  5. Empower broad-based actions
  6. Generate short-term wins
  7. Consolidate gains and produce more change, and
  8. Institutionalize new approaches and behaviour

When these are introduced across the organization significant growth, innovation, and learning becomes possible.

Change Management Canvas

adapted Kubr, M. (1986).

Key to implementing any change effort is also ensuring the following components are planned in advance:

  • Who is the target audience for the changes being proposed?
  • What roles in the business environment will help lead these changes and what are their responsibilities?
  • What is the message to be shared with each stakeholder group ?
  • How will information be shared and communicated across the change management project?
  • What are the goals of the entire change management project AND the steps taken during the project?
  • How will the goals be evaluated? How will you know if the effort was successful?
  • What are the deadlines for each step in the change management project?

The following model includes further information about all the components highlighted above:

Change Management Canvas

Change is healthy and inevitable. Those organizations that effectively pursue changes in the pursuit of growth, improvements, consolidation, course corrections, and innovation will have a significant advantage. The change management canvas can help organizations visually plan out their change management projects, engage stakeholders, build communication and alignment around change initiatives, and set up leadership in an ever-changing business environment.

How is your organization pursuing change management efforts? Share your comments below.

Resources:

Kubr, M. (1986). Management consulting: A guide to the profession. Geneva: International Labour Office.