Change is unavoidable. Out of our control our environments change every day; and as our environments change we change the ways we conduct our business in order to adapt and excel. It is often that the success of an organisation is co-dependant on its ability to adapt to the new changes within the environment. But our survival in a turbulent market place is often not linked to how quickly we can put into place new projects or initiatives. Rather it is fundamentally dependant on how quickly our employees can accept and deliver these changes. Change is nothing without the total support of employees.
Cultivating change within our workforce is not a new phenomenon, but it has grown and evolved from a foundational understanding into a recognised discipline. And as much as it has developed over the past 25 years, thought leaders within the change management field are able to demonstrate the ways in which they believe the areas of focus will shift in the coming years.
Timeline of Change Management
The beginnings of what is today known as change management can be traced back to pre-1990s. Stretching over the longest period of time, this slow developing era saw academics improving our collective understanding of human beings, how change is experienced and how our human systems interact and react. By laying the foundation research academics from a multitude of background disciplines provided crucial insights, research and frameworks for understanding successful change.
The Middle – or “On the Radar”
In the 10 years between 1990 and 2000 the concept of enterprise change management started its journey to recognition within corporate board rooms. In meetings which recognised the people side of change, language began to arise, moving the concept away from academic thinking and into actionable discipline. In this 10 year period there were a number of external forces - such as shifting employee-employer relationships and geopolitical forces - that drove the adoption of change management practices further into mainstream management.
The Present – Change Management as a Process
The first era cultivated the underpinning understanding of the practice while the second brought the school of thought out of the paper and into the office. However, it was not until after 2000 that the discipline was formalised. Out of a growing need for greater process management, the discipline began to take form as a formal structure for organisations to follow. Innovators of the discipline worked to embed change management as a core capability of their organisations. However, while this formalisation process was organisation wide, three main areas of distinct advancements arose: processes and tools; positions and job roles; and organisational functions.
To date, the journey of enterprise change management has included the prolific rise in awareness, understanding and application of the discipline. Having reached a pivotal point, the maturation of the discipline is outlined to continue on three main fronts:
- Continued incorporation and collaboration with related disciplines
- Increased focus on building organisational change capability
- Individual professional development of change professionals
Despite the rapid progression from theory to recognised discipline the evolution of the practice is far from reaching its saturation point. Adoption of the practice is still in its early stages and for those that do the opportunities to increase personal and organisational development are plentiful. As the scope for growth and innovation progresses it becomes crucial for organisations to understand how change can be strategically led and embraced.
Prosci was founded on the belief that scientific principles and research can be applied to organisational settings to achieve greater outcomes. Driven by this belief, Prosci has become the largest body of knowledge on change management; using research to power models and solutions for their clients. Appointed as the Singapore Primary Affiliate for Prosci in 2015, CMC Partnership Asia a leading provider of the global market-leading Prosci Change Management Training and Advisory services.
We work with organisations and change professionals to assess their organisational change management maturity, to ensure the effective delivery of change projects in Singapore and South East Asia. The more effective and mature an organisation’s change management capabilities are, the more likely it is that business critical projects will succeed.
To learn more about how Prosci and enterprise change management can ensure the success of your business critical projects, download your free copy of Case Study Lessons in ECM below: