Types of Change Management
There are a number of change management systems that provide different approaches to solving issues that naturally occur with change. Every industry faces unique struggles that require specialized techniques to manage changes and optimize operations. While there are some consistencies in the structure of change methodologies, the implementation of each will vary based on the type of change management required.
Five different types of change management will occur at various points during an organization’s journey:
Organizational change is a type of change that impacts everyone within an organization regardless of their position or leader level. These changes are usually rolled out from the top-down, with communication coming directly from the C-suite.
Some examples of organizational change include:
A business merges with or acquires another company
The HR rollout of new anti-racism or anti-harassment policies
Switching technology providers
Personnel changes can happen on a small scale such as when an individual leaves or joins a team, and on a large scale like when a company merges with another organization. Personnel changes often cause employees to ask questions about their job security, the chain of command, and responsibilities, so the impact can be far-reaching.
Here are some examples of personnel change:
An executive leader decides to step down
A lower-level employee is promoted to management
Someone is terminated or fired from a project
A team member passes away
Unplanned change can be very disruptive without a good change management approach. Any change that occurs without planning for it, whether it's positive, negative, or neutral, could be considered unplanned change. For example:
Your network experiences a severe data breach
A natural disaster (think COVID-19) changes how your team will work
You hire a new team member after an impressive interview with a candidate, although your organization wasn’t planning to hire anyone for the rest of the quarter
Remedial changes occur as a response to an issue or problem within an organization. These changes are designed to offer additional support, remove toxic workplace culture practices, and create better policies before minor problems grow into much larger ones. Remedial change can include:
A team member consistently misses goals, so leadership implements a plan to improve department performance
Canceling the implementation of an expensive tool that no longer meets an organization's needs
Friction between a team member and their superior calls for termination of one or both individuals
Transformational change is the most rewarding but difficult change to implement. Transformational changes are meant to change how a company operates or how they serve customers. This type of change can be challenging to define. Planning and communication are vital for transformation changes such as:
The board of directors decides to restructure an organization's growth
A company’s cloud provider invests in AI-powered tools
Organizations turn to sustainable suppliers and external businesses for materials
A company chooses a strategic channel partner to expand into a new market
Each of these changes requires an appropriate change management approach that meets an organization's needs and customers. There are many different approaches to change management that companies can adopt, or they can create their custom approach.