"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."—Leo Tolstoy
Change is one of the most fundamental components of a thriving organization, and yet many of us fail to understand it as a process wholly reliant on human beings and their individual willingness to change. As leaders, we make executive-level decisions every day to change our processes and procedures, renovate our spaces and buildings, and hire new managers and leaders. And more often than not, we do all this without taking into account the fact that the success of these decisions is entirely reliant on the individuals who will need to change the way they do their work, live in the spaces we provide and execute on our vision for the future.
Change Management is a tool for addressing this critical—human—element of organizational change. It is a set of systems and processes that allow us to understand the scope and impact a proposed change will have on the people who will be affected by it—both internally and externally. It gives us critical information for initiating dialogue and creating feedback loops. And most importantly, it allows for advocacy, coaching, training, and mentoring—all with the underlying message that the proposed change is happening for them—not to them. And it is recognized as the most critical component of successful organizational change.