Change Management, OD, and Project Management
There's a lot of conversation lately about the term "change management." For instance, at LinkedIn, consultant Ehren Hollander asked:
"What do you feel is the difference between Organizational Change, Organizational Development and Change Management? With the growing need for businesses to make significant changes to continue competing in these economic times, professional services firms are touting expertise and service offerings in Organizational Change, Organizational Development and Change Managment. Are they truly different methodologies? Is it just semantics? Is one an "umbrella term" for the others?"
Here's my take.
- Organizational Change happens whether we know it or not, whether we initiate it or not. Organizational Change can be a choice, however, if we are proactive rather than reactive.
- Organization Development is a field of professional practice undertaken to change and improve organizational alignment, strength, resilience, and health. OD improves organizational communication, builds capability, and enhances effectiveness.
- As for Change Management, managing change and improvement of an organization is the sine qua non of doing Organization Development. Others, such as IT Project Managers, lay claim to the phrase "Change management" but their field of practice deals with introducing technology change into an organization.
Re the last point, one might ask, Can IT and OD get along, and partner in the introduction of technology across an organization? The answer is a resounding Yes!
In my personal experience, I have had a number of successful collaborations with IT and project managers around introducing new technology. In one, where we were introducing field force automation, the IT Project Manager and his team focused on the system changes, while OD (headed up by yours truly) focused on the "people issues" such as resistance, coaching, communication, training, reinforcement, and labor relations.
Posted by Terrence Seamon, March 1, 2010