Change Management

Change management refers to initiatives aimed at introducing and accepting change within an organization (department, work team, company, etc.). In most cases, it takes the form of a new work structure or new tools (machines, software, etc.). Change management involves considering the human dimension, values, corporate culture, and resistance to change. The objective is to enable the understanding and acceptance by the employees concerned of the “new rules of the game” resulting from the change process.

What is the change


Change is defined as a break with old practices, a profound modification, i.e., anything that breaks habits and upsets the established order.

The perpetual search for well-being leads to change in practices and methods. The starting point for any business change, organizational transformation consists of rethinking an organization’s structure, mode of operation, and professional courses to do things differently.

Change management is the process of analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating changes in a system. It has two main objectives: to support the processing of changes and to allow their traceability (, May 27, 2022).

According to Manage Train Learn by Linda Herman (2014; 37-38), there are five ways to get change right.

  • Serve as an exemplar and identify others who can too
  • Engage champions of the change and the change agents among you.
  • Empower
  • Elevate
  • Educate, don’t just train.

Change management refers to initiatives aimed at introducing and accepting change within an organization (department, work team, company, etc.). In most cases, it takes the form of a new work structure or new tools (machines, software, etc.).

Change management consists of supporting an organization or reorganizing a project using a proven methodology.

Change management involves considering the human dimension, values, corporate culture, and resistance to change. The objective is to enable the understanding and acceptance by the employees concerned of the “new rules of the game” resulting from the change process.


Scope, Influence and Reason for Change

Scope of change

Considering risks and impacts in change management processes allows change to occur stable and controlled. To this end, it is essential to identify a change management structure that will enable decisions on evolution to be made and implemented. The advantages of change management for the company can be the following:

  • improve risk management;
  • enable the coordination and monitoring of changes;
  • facilitate communications between technical teams and users;
  • improve international coordination (; May 27, 2022).

Andy (2018, 19-22) defines the main risks in change management. They are Business risks, implementation risks, risks of delay, change fatigue, and Cynism.

To manage these risks, Andy gives the following advertising:

  • don’t change too much at the same time;
  • give enough time for people to learn and to bed in the new ways of doing things;
  • ensure that successful changes are well publicized;
  • ensure that poorly handled changes are reviewed and learned from.

In addition, Sally and Shannon (2017, 16) advise you have now diagnosed your current perception of strategy and assessed your existing facilitation skills.

Reason for change

Globalization, competitive pressure, the digital revolution, continuous innovation, and perpetual socio-economic changes impact the activity and performance of the company, then faced with the need to transform to remain competitive in its market.

Several reasons can necessitate the willingness to change. These are, among others:

  • the restructuring of the organization;
  • the takeover or merger of a company;
  • technological developments;
  • a need for performance and innovation;
  • New internal management and market demands, whether structural, organizational, or related to the behavior of the various actors ( May 27, 2022).

According to Andy (2018, 9), several things could be driving the need for change. They are:

  • strategic review;
  • drift to cut costs;
  • restructuring around a new system;
  • restructuring for expansion and growth;
  • restructuring for new products;
  • restructuring for geographic seasons;
  • or to give the chief executive a way to make an impact.


Organizational structure

Business transformation is part of a business strategy that aims to optimize processes to increase performance. For this purpose, it is essential to answer the following questions:

  • why change?
  • what to change?
  • how to change?
  • who to change?
  • who are the actors of the transformation?
  • what can be the effects of the transformation?
  • what can be the impacts of the transformation?
  • and what results?

To do this, an organizational structure is necessary. It can be defined as the hierarchical system chosen to organize employees in the company organization chart. We can also say that a company’s organizational structure is the way of planning and formally distributing tasks and responsibilities. To develop an organizational structure of an organization there are two steps namely:

  • analyze the tasks and define the objectives of the organization to be able to make a subsequent evaluation of the goals;
  • the synthesis and distribution of the functions previously defined and analyzed ( June 24, 2022).

Organization strategy

Change management offers a perfectly structured process to support each member of an organization during a transition. Change management is adapted on a case-by-case basis and takes place on three levels to be optimal.

Individual change management

Its objective is to discover and understand how everyone experiences change. This makes it possible to determine what needs to be implemented to facilitate this transition and ensure its success. Several parameters are considered, and the change manager must ask the right questions.

Organizational change management

It concerns, more particularly, the organizational change of a structure. It is then a question of identifying the people and groups directly affected by the transition project and knowing what will change for them.

Change management capability

The company, this time, focuses its process on the market and the competition. The company is taken care of as a whole to guarantee an adapted and promising change (; May 27, 2022).

Organization process

For a successful organizational transformation, it is necessary to apply several change management processes.

As a result, there are ten steps to an effective change management process, notably:

  • develop a well-defined objective;
  • determine the level of maturity of your organization;
  • convince decision-makers and management;
  • create a communication plan;
  • poses practical milestones;
  • identify key performance indicators;
  • identify and defuse obstacles;
  • regularly analyze the implementation in the company;
  • adjust when necessary;
  • review after implementation ( steps-of-an-effective-change-management-process; June 18, 2022).

Technologies used

According to Julien Cotte ( C3%A9tudiants-de-liae-paris.html; June 20, 2022), the human resources function is essential in driving change in the company.

The role of human resources is to:

  • recommend a timetable for the transformation and especially the impact that this can have on the company’s employees and managers. Remember the legal obligations in this area, and explain that a change that is not successful can cost much more than if we take a little more time on specific subjects. Explain that the preparatory work for any transformation is essential and that it must be done step by step;
  • anticipate possible human blockages. Indeed, any change can provoke strong reluctance from managers and employees. Change is not easy, and we must therefore expect things as much as possible, even if everything cannot be foreseen, of course;
  • support and train managers not to be good agents of transformation, but to understand the change in which they participate, give them meaning, listen to them in the face of the obstacles they encounter;
  • propose the appropriate solutions according to the transformation situations because it is obvious that we will not apply the same methods if we are in a transformation desired by the economic market or if we are in a growing company.

The Human Resources function is the function that can best support change in a company because when we talk about change, we mainly talk about men and women who will have to learn to work differently, question themselves, and change their assignments.

Systematic approach, problem identification

The systematic approach is a process for supporting change within organizations, which is also very effective when it is simply a question of optimizing the functioning of teams. It makes it possible to mobilize actors, particularly those resistant to change, to achieve a common objective.

In any organization, change is subject to two opposing forces: one favorable to it and the other resisting it. These are the driving forces and the resisting forces.

Driving forces

They initiate change and fuel it. They are either external or internal. For example

  • funding is reduced or increased;
  • community interests and needs change;
  • you are pressured to adopt the technology.

The resisting forces

Although prepared, all employees cannot always welcome a transformation project. While some will be naturally curious and caring, others will need more support to address their concerns. In some cases, employees may resist change because it disrupts a daily life deemed comfortable, questioning skills, or hierarchical status. This is called resistance to change. To support it as well as possible, a period of “test and learn” is, therefore, necessary to: present the project, educate the different actors in the change, and explain the different phases of the transformation. The goal is to have lifted all the brakes and objections at the time of deployment to have only actors in a situation of acceptance. If the “test and learn” period is not enough to calm concerns, mourning will begin for employees most hostile to change.

Several reasons can hinder the implementation of change. These include, among others:

  • loss of individual interest;
  • ignorance of the objective;
  • fear of not being up to it;
  • difficulty changing.

The resisting forces oppose the driving forces of change. For example,

  • the group fears new ideas and prefers to keep things as they have always been;
  • the group does activities only to stay busy;
  • the group’s performance changes very little, and its low turnover rate (; June 20, 2022).

According to Elizabeth (2017; 19), the first step in managing resistance to change is to think about it before it happens. Take some time to consider the people risks related to this project.

Elizabeth (2017; 20) adds that if you see that resistance is happening, communicate more, not less. Talk more. Listen more. Ask questions: research and follow-up. The rest of this book will help you plan and follow through on your change communications. 


Innovation, change management models

The tools to be used are essential in driving change. According to Sally and Maggie (2017; 16), you have now diagnosed your current perception of strategy and assessed your existing facilitation skills.

Change management generally refers to how people and organizations execute organizational change. Change, often seen as the only permanent one, becomes a process that impacts people. This technique also serves as a roadmap for implementing changes, navigating the transition process and ensuring changes are accepted and implemented. In the meantime, if you are in senior management and want to help your team through transitions and acceptance and adoption of change, you can select the best change model plans provided below.

In change management, there are seven (07) fundamental models (; May 27, 2022).

Seven (7) Proven Change Management Models:

  • Lewin’s change management model;
  • The ADKAR model;
  • Kotter’s 8-step model of change;
  • The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA);
  • The 7S model of Mc Kinsey;
  • The Kubler-Ross curve of change;
  • The bridge transition model (William Bridges, 1999).

Lewin’s change management model

In the late 1940s, this social psychologist researcher Kurt Lewin; May 27, 2022) defined a simple model based on three steps, symbolized by the metaphor of the block of ice: Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze.

  • In the “Unfreeze” phase, the objective is to make employees aware that an urgent change is inevitable. Convince that the organization has no other way out than to do otherwise. Resistance to change appears at this stage.
  • In the second phase, “Change,” minds are ready for novelty thanks to the sense of urgency created by the previous stage, and new practices are defined.
  • And finally, “Refreeze.” Once the changes have been adopted, the objective is to stabilize and consolidate the new organization and working methods. If this phase is skipped, old routines quickly return.

The ADKAR model

The ADKAR model was developed by Jeff Hiatt (2003) to facilitate organizational change. It is an exit organizational change management technique that aims to reduce organizational resistance to change. The strategy emphasizes the people component of change, ensuring that almost all staff support and participate in the transition. Once this objective is achieved, the model switches to the organizational side because the processes must be prioritized once the employees are in place. This is one of the most important patterns to ensure a smooth transition.

Kotter’s 8-step model of change

John Kotter (1951) developed an 8-step model of change. This method is a complex process that requires substantial participation from management and employees at all levels. The companies focused on expanding the business globally, building excellence in functions and practices, implementing technical innovations, and recognizing the right people to stay ahead of the game. Competition and gain a competitive advantage.

Implementing change is not always easy. Obstacles can take many forms: lack of teamwork or leadership, arrogant attitudes, general human fear, etc. Can disrupt any change implementation project. Kotter highlights eight steps organizations should take to overcome such challenges and successfully implement large-scale change. By following these steps, the organization will be prepared and committed to adopting the changes.

Penny (2020; 25-26) presents eight steps of change management described by Chew Jhon Kotter:

  1. Leaders describe an opportunity that will appeal to individuals’ heads and hearts and use this to create a group of volunteer change agents;
  2. This change team, with representatives from across the organization will guide, coordinate and communicate progress with the envisaged change;
  3. Form a strategic vision and activities that, if designed and executed fast enough and well enough, will make your dream a reality;
  4. Cross-organization change can only happen when everyone (or almost everyone) understands the vision, buys in, and drives in the same direction;
  5. Enable action by removing barriers;
  6. Generate short-term wins and communicate them throughout the organization;
  7. Sustain acceleration. Change leaders adapt quickly to maintain their speed of change;
  8. Communicate the connections between new behaviors and the organization’s success.

Create a sense of urgency

The objective of this stage should be to prepare employees for the change to come and to motivate them to contribute. The process should establish a sense of urgency among managers and employees. Everyone involved must feel the need for change, or that difference is essential to the organization’s growth. Without their support, it will be difficult to sustain the momentum of the change initiative and achieve lasting transformation.

Set up a steering coalition

This step is dedicated to building a competent team with the skills, qualifications, reputation, connections, and power to lead change efforts and influence stakeholders. However, an effective team should include the following people:

  • The Sponsor: A senior manager is usually responsible for the change initiative. Their responsibilities include providing leadership-level support and resources to complete the change initiative successfully;
  • The management team: the members of this team are selected by the sponsor. It comprises individuals (leaders) with sufficient authority in the field to make decisions and gather the resources and support needed for the project. The team will be responsible for developing the vision and strategies, providing resources, guiding the organization through the process, resolving conflicts and communicating with stakeholders;
  • Established Steering Team: This comprises highly credible and respected individuals representing constituencies interested in change. They share the vision and guide the organization through the process.
  • Change teams are a group of managers and supervisors whose responsibility is to ensure that the tasks are carried out on time. They will also play a role in designing and rolling out the change agenda.

Once the team is assembled, focus on setting clear goals and developing an environment of trust and commitment.

Developing a vision and strategies

This step aims to create a realistic vision to guide the initiative and develop effective strategies to help the team achieve it. It helps create a picture of the organization’s future once the change is implemented.

The right vision enables successful change by inspiring and guiding team actions and decisions. It should also set clear and realistic goals to make it easy to measure success and engage the interest of business stakeholders.

Communicate the vision of change

In this stage, the focus is on effectively communicating the vision and strategies in a way that encourages the rest of the organization to accept and support the change initiative. The goal is to win the hearts and minds of employees, make them make sacrifices to support change, and make them believe that change is possible and that the benefits that come with it are suitable for the organization and themselves.

To do this effectively,

  • Communicate the vision and strategies as frequently as possible, integrating them into decision-making, problem-solving and daily actions;
  • Walk the talk. Senior managers must adopt the ideal behavior that they expect from the rest of the employees;
  • Encourage employee feedback and respond openly and honestly to their anxieties, problems, anger, and concerns,
  • Use simple words to communicate the message to avoid confusion and doubt,
  • And use all communication channels of the organization to get the news across. These can be platforms ranging from emails and newsletters to the company intranet.

Remove Barriers to Action

 When implementing organization-wide change, roadblocks can be expected. Barriers can take the form of insufficient processes, resistance to change from employees, organizational policies, and structure. During this stage, the steering coalition and senior management should focus on removing barriers that prevent the organization from realizing its vision for change.

Make short-term gains

Achieving an accurate complete transformation can take time. Going so long without a victory to celebrate can discourage employees. It is important to set short-term goals to achieve and celebrate early in the change process to maintain momentum and encourage employees to continue supporting the initiative. A short-term win is a win that can be implemented in a short period. This quick win must be visible throughout the organization, unambiguous and linked to the change initiative.

Take advantage of change

This stage consists of supporting the implementation of the change by ensuring that the teams work with perseverance towards the realization of the vision of the change while measuring the progress made. Ensuring that the team does not declare victory prematurely after a few quick wins is essential. After each win, identify what worked and what didn’t to determine what needs improvement.

Make change stick

During this stage, change makers strive to create a new culture in which change can take hold. These include changing organizational norms and values, processes, reward systems and other infrastructure elements to ensure everything aligns with the new direction.

Ready to implement change?

Implementing organization-wide change is neither quick nor easy. It takes patience, preparation, and perseverance. Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model provides an excellent framework to help you stay on track during this long journey. By following these eight steps, you can ensure the successful implementation of change within your organization ( Kotter/; May 27, 2022).

The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

One of the best change management models is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) developed by William Edwards Deming (1930). This technique can also help companies differentiate themselves from their competitors, especially in modern organizations where businesses continually seek to streamline their processes, reduce costs, increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction. It also combines the essential notions of strategy creation. Many managers use the Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) example to help lead their organizations using all four aspects.

McKinsey’s 7S model

MicKinsey’s 7S model is used to see a problem inside the company. It was developed by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman (1980). This methodology can help teams identify misalignments and keep the business on track. The seven factors serve as a roadmap for keeping your business balanced once you’ve determined what adjustments must be made.

The Kübler-Ross curve of change

The Change Curve originated from the work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who connects workers individually; the Kubler-Ross Change Curve is ideal. Combine this model with another change model framework that describes specific processes to achieve the desired outcome. On the other hand, the unpredictability of emotion makes this change management strategy unsuitable for large-scale adjustments.

The bridge transition model

Like the Kubler-Ross curve of change, this method also focuses on emotional responses during transitions. It was first introduced by William Bridges in 1999. This change management model focuses on the transition process by breaking it into three parts. The idea behind this approach is that change happens in individuals, while the transition is a journey people take. Expecting the rejection, rage and irritation that comes with the growth allows you to better direct individuals to the middle of the process, which acts as a bridge between the new and the old.

Sponsor, Agent or Advocate of Change

Sponsor of change

According to Aplus; June 24, 2022), sponsorship is the most critical success factor for change.

The role of a sponsor comes down to two key responsibilities:

Get involved and mobilize.

  • Get involved: A sponsor who understands and assumes his role will reorganize his priorities to become actively involved in the change. This means owning, influencing, managing and shaping change.
  • Mobilize: In his unit, the change sponsor manager takes the actions required to mobilize his team for change. These include communicating, accompanying, preparing and supporting the team.

Agents or advocates of change

According to Metadata (; June 24, 2022), change agents oversee the implementation of changes in an organization. They are the ones who make sure that everyone follows the new strategy because they have the power to bring about changes in an organization.

An effective change agent must possess the following skills: knowledge, leadership skills, understanding of the factors involved in change and knowledge of different forms of change management.

Change agents are sometimes called change advocates.

Need a Vision, Create the Vision, and Communicate the Vision

 Need a vision

The strategic vision is an ambition, a future state to be achieved for your company. It allows you to define a direction to mobilize your employees toward a common objective for the company’s future. The strategic vision must be both ambitious and achievable in the short/medium term to not discourage the teams.

It is essential to establish a vision of change because it allows:

  • improve the consistency of everyone’s actions;
  • to motivate users to adhere to a new way of doing things;
  • to dispel fears by detailing the processes to come;
  • and reduce the risk of project failure.

Create the Vision

To establish the vision for change, it is up to the management team to define the direction to be taken and the organization’s values. You can then complete the draft by involving the managers of the different departments. For a solid vision, it is essential to:

  • establish the needs of the organization;
  • list the reasons why the change is necessary;
  • use the most relevant data on the market to demonstrate the relevance of the change;
  • anticipate the points that are likely to be more problematic and think of solutions;
  • Identify the risks associated with the status quo.

Communicate the Vision

The success of the change management project also lies in the ability to communicate the project, share it and implement it with the teams in place.

The communication of the vision is not limited to a formal presentation to all the people concerned but must be part of daily life on every occasion (XRMVISION: a-strong-vision-for-change-in-your-business/; June 06, 2022).

Change management and link with other management elements

Strategy and project management, development of organizational structure and processes

To support the change dynamically, it is necessary to rely on internal actors capable of supervising, supporting or deploying a new project. It is advisable to set up two teams: a project team and a team of collaborators.

To structure the team, it is necessary to choose a project manager, generally the initial project leader, convinced of the founding idea. Then, selecting project sponsors will allow all employees to share their ambition and vision. A change management manager accustomed to transformation projects will help implement actions favoring a non-brutal transition. Trainers will ensure that the chosen media will align the company and the teams. Finally, relying on Key Users to report any inconsistency or malfunction is essential.

Risk managment

Several risks can be identified as part of implementing the change process. According to Andy Turnbull (2018, 19-22), the main risks in change management are business risks, implementation risks, risks of delay, change fatigue, and cynicism. To manage these risks, Andy gives advice:

  • dont change too much at the same time;
  • give enough time for people to learn and to bed in the new ways of doing things;
  • ensure that successful changes are well published;
  • ensure that poorly. Handled changes are reviewed and learned from.

Anchoring the change in the corporate culture, stabilization

A transformation project never leaves employees indifferent. Some will be naturally enthusiastic and curious, while others will be worried or resistant. However, whatever the reaction to a project, the company must support each employee impacted by it to prepare as well as possible and give the project every chance of succeeding.

The success of the change depends on several factors. Taking these factors into account makes mitigating the risks of resistance possible.

MTD Training (32-40) defines eight steps or success factors to consider in preparing for and implementing change. They are:

  1. establish a sense of urgency around the change;
  2. share your vision;
  3. the ability to change.
  4. communication through change.
  5. ensure stakeholder involvement.
  6. engage all levels of leadership.
  7. implement and integrate the change.
  8. strengthen performance and commitment.
  9. (insert in conclusion).


  1. Andy Turnbull (2018), Change management for leaders and managers. A guide to managing change in organizations, 1st edition 2018.;
  2. Eliza Beth Harrin (2017), Communicating change: How to talk about project change, 1st edition;
  3. Penny Shapland-Chew (2020), Generative change management: Creating positive organizations and Flourishing people, 2nd edition;
  4. Sally Watson, Maggie Shannon (2017), How to influence organizational change: A strategic tool kit for middle managers. 1st edition;
  5. MTD Training (2017), Managing through change, 1st edition;
  6. Manage Train Learn (2014), The expert teaches change management, 1st edition;
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  12. REVENGE. (June 20, 2022). Seven change management tools to simplify change processes and manage change effectively. Retrieved from;
  13. Julien Cotte. (June 20, 2022). The HR function in managing the change project of the students of the IAE Paris (18/06/2013). Retrieved from A9tudiants-de-liae-paris.html;
  14. Ontario. (June 20, 2022). Understand change. Retrieved from;
  15. GitMind. (May 27, 2022). 7 Fundamental Change Management Models. Retrieved from
  16. Kurt Lewin. (May 27, 2022). Manage change in 3 steps according to Lewin’s model, Found at;
  17. John P Kotter. (27/05/2022). The easy guide to Kotter’s 8-step model of change. Retrieved from;
  18. Aplus. (June 24, 2022). Sponsor of change: two key responsibilities. Retrieved from;
  19. Metadata. (June 24, 2022). Who is a change agent, and what is their role? Retrieved from;
  20. XRMVISION. (06 June 2022). How do you create a strong vision for change in your business? Retrieved from

Author: THIOMBIANO Boubakar, student LIGS University
Approved by: Dr. Babandi Ibrahim Gumel, lecturer LIGS University


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