Change Management vs Change Leadership

Change Management v Change Leadership

Given the uncertainty of today’s world including the nature and speed of forces of change, it is essential to consider the effectiveness of change management and change leadership. After all the distinction between the two is quite significant.

Nigel Leach

DMs. M.A. MSc. Fifl

Change Management

This is a structured approach to transforming organisations teams and individuals from a current state to a future decision state. Over the years change management seems to be greatly influenced by project management approaches and from an IT perspective. Only a small strand of leadership features. The problem with this approach, change management can appear to be slow and risk averse. The overall aim seems to be more about how to minimise the impact of change.

Management evolved in the 19th Century and was later developed into theories, largely based upon ‘Military Principles of Command and Control. Management was and still is about its four functions, controlling, planning, organising and enabling. I have observed after many years that organisations/businesses seem to be content in focusing on organising, planning & controlling, not enabling.

Change Management vs Change Leadership by Nigel Leach

Change Leadership

This is the ability to influence and enthuse others through personal advocacy, vision and drive and to allow resources to build a solid platform for change (Higgs and Rowland 2000). The most important part of change for organisation is the people element, therefore greater transparency is essential. In addition, the big picture approach is crucial.

It is said by ‘John Kotter’ that change leadership is much more about the ‘engine’ in driving the change process, making it go faster, smarter and more efficiently.

It appears to me that organisations/businesses are content in undertaking change management where they move things along in a gentle way causing little disruptions. Greater emphasis is placed upon controls and not going over budget.

Change leadership is more about influencing, its more about empowering large parts of the workforce. Change leadership has the potential to get things a little out of control (Forbes, Harvard Business School)

The way forward is whilst recognising that change leadership is associated with big leaps to cope with monumental changes quicker and faster. It is important to plan change, therefore change management approaches will be useful. However, the common denominator here will be the quantity and the high skills required from an organisations/business’s leadership team to drive change.

Change leadership is going to be a big challenge in the future as it is asking leaders to be less convergent and more divergent in their thinking approaches. When organisations/businesses are undertaking major change initiatives one fundamental area. That is often forgotten is leadership development for all levels within the organisation. Without this approach often change falls short of meeting their corporate goals.

Change leadership will need to develop the right transformational mindset, therefore it is important to invent in up to date leadership developments that will dramatically improve the chances of real change success.