Is there such a thing as too much Change Management?
We hear lots of discussions around projects failing due to lack of change management and I have written various articles encouraging the use of structured change programs. But is there such a thing as too much Change Management?
Firstly, what do we mean by too much Change Management? In this context people are usually referring to too much communication, excessive training or an overload of information.
The bottom line, it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing!
What happens? / What signs to look for?
To start with, if you have done your Change Management right, people will hopefully be enthused and excited by the change, or at the very least be accepting of it. But then if you are not careful they can start getting fed up of hearing the same messages over and over again. They will get bored of the change.
- ignore the messages and communications
- hit delete on an email without reading it
- not show up to meetings or training
Put simply they will start to disengage, those people who were once your core supporters will start to switch-off and become apathetic to the change, they may even become resistant.
What to do to avoid it?
Firstly, be clear on your communication plan. People may need to hear things 5-7 times before they take it in, but they do not take well to receiving the exact same email 7 times in quick succession.
Ensure that your messages are provided in different ways, different channels, different media……
- get creative
- be engaging
- make it interesting or fun
Its no different to doing a presentation at a conference, you have to keep the audience interested, engaged and entertained, if not they will stop listening, Change communications are just the same!
So yes you can have too much of a good thing, its your job as a Change Leader to keep the recipients of the information engaged and on-side.
Change Management (Part 1) – Cracking the Code of Change
Change Management (Part 2) – Step Models of Change
Change Management (Part 3a) – Change Capability
Change Management (Part 3b) – Success with IT Change
Change Management – What’s in a Name?
Why are IT projects Change Management time bombs?
The Importance of Change Leadership – Beyond “Step Models of Change”
Beer & Nohria – “Cracking the Code of Change
Lewin’s (1951) original 3-step model of “Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze”
John Kotter – “Leading Change”
Martin Webster’s blog
Change Management Blog
The five motivators of successful change by Barbara Kivowitz