Change Management

In contemporary societies, the speed of change has a relevant vector in Moore's law, according to which, every 18 months, humanity doubles its technological availability. In this context, managing change becomes a fundamental communication competence.


Change management is an iterative process, in which professional communication plays a key role, to facilitate organizations in the successful application of transitions, modifications, improvements and transformations in their operations, processes, technologies or structures.


According to the theory of change management, types of change can be classified into 10 Classic Typologies, depending on their origin and nature:


1 - Strategic: originate from the strategic direction of an organization. They may include restructuring the company, adopting new technologies, entering new markets or reviewing the mission and vision.

2 - Organizational: focus on the structure, processes and internal systems of an organization. They may include departmental reorganization, implementation of new management systems, or adoption of collaborative work practices.


3 - Technological: linked to the adoption or updating of technologies in the organization, they may involve the implementation of new software, hardware, such as digital platforms, automation tools, artificial intelligence, etc.


4 - Cultural: they focus on modifying the values, norms and behaviors in the organization. They may involve promoting a culture of innovation, inclusion or continuous improvement.


5 - Processes: they are related to the optimization and redesign of the organization's internal processes. The objective is to improve efficiency, quality and agility in the execution of tasks.


6 - Human Resources: refer to changes in the composition, roles and responsibilities of the work team. It includes new leadership, personnel restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and the addition or departure of key employees.


7 - Products or Services: involve the introduction of new products or services on the market, or the modification of existing ones. They may arise due to evolving customer demands or technological advances.


8 - External: driven by factors external to the organization, such as changes in legislation, government regulations, economic conditions or market competition.


9 - Market: relate to adaptation to changing market trends and demands. They may require adjustments to marketing strategy, customer segmentation, or geographic expansion.


10 - Crisis: These changes originate in response to crisis situations, such as natural disasters, pandemics, cybersecurity problems or other unforeseen events that require rapid adaptation.

Change Management: 8 Basic Stages


Change management is a continuous process that requires permanent attention and adaptation. Although it is not the same for all organizations, in general it consists of 8 basic iterative stages:


1 - Diagnosis and Preparation: exhaustive analysis of the need for change and potential challenges are identified. Information is gathered about the current situation, the urgency is assessed, and the scope of change is determined. Arguments are also formulated and change management teams are created to lead the process.

2 - Planning: In this stage, a detailed plan is developed that addresses how the change will be implemented. This includes defining clear objectives, identifying roles and responsibilities, communicating with stakeholders, and developing strategies to mitigate resistance.


3 - Communication: effective communication is key to achieving a successful transition. A communication plan is created that addresses how stakeholders will be informed about the change, what key messages will be conveyed, and what channels will be used. Communication must be constant and two-way, allowing dialogue and feedback.


4 - Training and Training: ensuring that people affected by the change have the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt is essential. Appropriate education and training programs are developed to help employees acquire the new required skills.


5 - Implementation: in this stage, the change plan is launched. Planned activities are carried out and the process is closely monitored to address any emerging challenges. Continued communication and support to employees is essential during this phase.


6 - Resistance Management: when we talk about classic sources of resistance to change, we generally refer to: misinformation; the negation; immediate criticism; the immediate agreement; sabotage; deviation and anomie. Each one deserves a particular analysis and could take us a separate article. Resistance(s) to change is a common emergent in this type of process, so it is generally advisable to address it through a proactive communication approach. This requires identifying sources of resistance, understanding concerns, and taking steps to address them together. This may involve constant communication, stakeholder engagement, and adapting the approach as necessary. 

7 - Evaluation and Learning: once the change has been implemented, it is crucial to evaluate its effectiveness. To do this, the results are analyzed to determine if the objectives have been achieved and if the expected benefits have been realized, lessons learned for future change projects are identified, and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are applied per position. such as: the delay in approving the change; the success rate of the change; the change in the backlog (accumulated work); the rate of rejection of change; the time of implementation of the change; the incidents related to the change, the cost(s) of the change; stakeholder satisfaction and impact assessment of the overall process.

Focusing on the Change Communication KPIs, it is necessary to measure:


Total number of activities and/or meetings that have been carried out to raise awareness.


Total number of consultation meetings held in the company.


Total number of key messages that were delivered to the organization's employees and stakeholders.


Percentage of total employees and stakeholders who received messages about the change.


Percentage of total employees and stakeholders who know the reason for the change that has occurred in the company.


Percentage of employees who shared comments with the company.


Results of training programs. 


8 - Closure and Celebration: recognizing and celebrating the achievements achieved throughout the change process is important. This helps solidify acceptance of the change and motivate employees for future initiatives.


The Change in the Change


It is important to note that, in practice, changes can often be a combination of several of these types, and effective change management involves adapting strategies and approaches depending on the specific context.



Also, given the acceleration of the rate of change, which we referred to at the beginning of this article, it is important to distinguish whether we are in a situation of change, in which we can still distinguish one or more origins and preserve them as frameworks of change. reference, or we are managing change in a mutational context, in which all our references have disappeared and we need to collaboratively think about change in change, as a permanent iterative process that has social innovation as its path and horizon.

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