Everything is different now.
The introduction of new technologies, the rise of global markets, and the arrival of new generations with different perspectives to the workforce are intersecting, prompting business leaders to examine whether their workforce is equipped to handle the transition to new ways of working.
Disruption is now constant across every industry, with the pace of change accelerating.
Yet in this fast-moving environment, the right steps to guide a business through change aren’t always obvious. Many smart, capable business leaders can feel powerless in the face of this relentless onslaught of change. The good news is there is help available. Change management professionals have the skills, understanding, and experience needed to support leaders as they transition their workforce and business into the future.
The Role of a Change Manager
To some people, a change management expert means someone brought into projects to manage communication, training, or resistance throughout the disruption of implementation. That’s not the full picture.
An effective change manager will assess and quickly grasp an organization’s culture and how the change they are facing will impact people. They work with the business’s leaders at the outset of a project, understand the motivation for change, assess the capability and readiness for people to be successful in the future, predict and gauge the level of possible resistance (and the reasons why) and prepare the organization and its leaders to effectively respond to questions from stakeholders and employees before, during and after the change rolls out. They help position people to fully adopt and sustain change.
The best change management happens when skilled, experienced professionals are brought in early and work with the top organizational leaders to help implement a strategic change management program. They work to anticipate challenges and build internal capacity and capability to handle the ongoing challenges of managing change.
The Value of a Certified Change Manager
The profession of change management is evolving. A global standard was established around 2013, and there has been a lot of research to define what effective change management looks like. As a result, today there are well-documented best practices and certifications in the field.
One challenge we come across is that change management is difficult to define and separate from other roles in a change project. Often, we experience scenarios where clients will conclude their change manager has been unsuccessful. This is typically the result of a misunderstanding of what the change manager’s role is (and isn’t). Misinterpreting the change manager’s role can lead to an ineffective program that doesn’t get your business closer to your goals or meet your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Understanding what change management is about, as well as being familiar with the process, is critical to ensuring success when putting the right supports in place. If the resources, training, and support are aligned to globally recognized industry standards, it can inspire confidence in a robust program with real ROI.
Why Certification Matters
There are many interpretations of what best practice change management programs look like. It can be a little like the ‘Wild West’ out there, and even the smartest business leaders can be challenged in locating the right resources and evaluating the credibility and qualifications of the person providing change management guidance.
Relying on certifications and standards helps address that challenge. The Certified Change Management Professional™ (CCMP™) certification from The Association of Change Management Professionals® (ACMP) requires years of experience and the completion of an exam thttps://www.acmpglobal.org/page/ccmpo demonstrate applied knowledge. This certification can give you confidence that you’ve found the support you need.
Here are two examples where a CCMP™ can bring value to your organization:
Risk Metrics: Understanding how to identify change risk, what to measure, and measuring it properly, are absolutely vital to a successful change management process. A certified professional will know not to leave it to the end of the process – measuring success happens throughout the planning and execution of the strategy. It’s embedded in the fabric of the change strategy.
Managing Risk and Resistance: Historically, business leaders have often had the impression that change managers are brought in to manage employee resistance to a planned disruption when it occurs. Research has since demonstrated that engaging a change manager early in the process can help proactively reduce or avoid resistance, leaving breathing room to concentrate on managing project efforts efficiently and effectively, boosting employee morale and improving the organization’s outcomes.
The right change manager can make the difference between employees suffering from change fatigue, or a team that is well equipped and able to take inevitable disruption in stride and keep moving forward. Taking steps now to equip yourselves with the right support will help your organization stay on its feet during a time where agility is more important than ever.
Mariner’s Change Management Team