• richardhcarson

BOOK OF CHANGE: The New Home of Change Management

Updated: Apr 25


Welcome to the Book of Change! This is the beginning of a new twice a month blog about organizational change management or OCM. Why would you take the time to read it? The Book of Change is written for business and government executives, change management consultants, and university scholars and students. It provides practical change management solutions, as well as a practical process, for those of you who need to address change in the workplace. The blog is designed to be a step-by-step instruction guide that you, the change management agent, can use to manage organizational change. These could be internal or external impacts to the organization’s health or profitability.

Now more than ever, organizations are faced with unprecedented transformational change. The Book of Change provides both for profit and non-profit organizations with a step-by-step instruction guide to manage change. It provides state-of-the-art business solutions for those of you who need to address change, either small or large, in the workplace.

When pandemics, mergers, restructuring, bankruptcies, layoffs, or major software implementations hit the workplace both managers and their employees are naturally fearful of the looming changes. Organizational change management is meant for the person who manages the organization and the people who make it function day-to-day.

Today, the change we face is as existential as it is exponential. People want to understand how to deal with the external changes like the Twin Towers attack on 9/11, the Great Recession, the European Brexit, the Presidency of Donald Trump, and now COVID-19. They also need to deal with immediate internal organizational changes like mergers, bankruptcy, or restructuring.

The Book of Change provides you with answers and a road map to address your specific change management needs. The blog is an instruction guide that an organization or you, the change management agent, can use to manage organizational change.

This organizational change could be big or small. For example, the person could be a company president charged with managing a major merger with another firm. On the other hand, it could be an IT manager who needs to implement a major new software system. Organizational change comes in a thousand different types and sizes. But the bottom line is there is a manager worried about how she or he will manage this new challenge. The manager can use the Book of Change to either proactively or reactively address such change impacts. That is why the blog admonishes the reader that,

Either you manage change or change manages you!

The Book of Change provides you with a step-by-step guide for business and government leaders who want to manage organizational change in their workplace. I developed the model presented here based on my 40 years as an executive, consultant, and academic. I believe it is the foremost change management model available to you – and it’s free! You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to go to a destination resort for training or to hang a certificate from a tier one university on your glory wall. Of course, neither are going to happen during the current pandemic crisis. And if you really want a certificate, then I will be glad to give you one! That is if you can pass the test, I will post it at the end of the blog series.

Organizational change management refers to actions taken when an organization alters a major component of its organizational culture (such as new leadership), new technology, changes in organizational structure, or changes to internal processes (such as a new business model).

Let’s start with a quick primer on what organizational change management is and why it is important. Every organization undergoes constant changes, big and small, that may or may not impact the trajectory of the business. Sometimes it is hard to tell just how big or small the impact is. The organizational change management process has three distinct phases: preparation, implementation, and follow-through.

The types of organizational change are either adaptive changes which are small, incremental changes, or transformational which are larger scale changes. One of the major problems in managing organizational change is misinterpreting which is which. For example, a change in the use of technology is often underestimated in terms of its impact both internally and externally. This could also be underestimating both the cost of the change, or the impact on employee morale, vendor interactions, or customer service to end users.

The success in addressing organizational change is directly related to the organization’s ability to understand and address it. For example, a large organization will probably have a person designated to address risk management problems. These are people who specialize in resolving organizational impacts after the impact occurs or identifying fiscal and productivity impacts that may occur and are therefore reactive. However, most organizations don’t have a person designated to address change management problems. These are people trained to deal with organizational changes in real time or before they occur. They are also trained to create a change management program to identify and manage internal and external changes over time that is proactive. The underlying premise of the Book of Change is to help you and your organization create a change management program to deal with changes big and small.

Twice a month I will discuss one of the 40 Activities in my organizational change management model. The People Sustained Organizational Change Management (PSOCM) model is the result of my literature review of 153 publications, and ultimately 21 different organizational change management processes published since Curt Lewin created the field in 1951. As an academic, I spent my doctoral research reading 70 years worth of the leading publications, periodicals, and research papers on this subject so that you, my reader, does not have to.

The People Sustained Organizational Change Management (PSOCM) model is a 3-Phase, 10-Step, and 40-Activity model. Each Activity is a standalone process that will benefit your organization. If you don’t have time to read about a particular activity or need to refer to it at a later date, then no worries. Each activity blog will be archived for future reference on the Book of Change website. Of course, for you overachievers, you can get more information on the Book of Change website. The website discusses the PSOCM model and much more. The website contains numerous change management quotations, a comprehensive glossary of terms, and essays on the topic.

Are you ready to learn how to address change in your workplace? Well, the next blog post starts the series. It is titled, Step 1.0 First Steps, Action 1.1 Problem Identification. The question is,

What’s your problem?

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