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Change Management

What is change management?

Change just happens, but strategic change doesn't. The heart of strategic change: a strong focus on actions that matter. Change management is a powerful means for leaders to focus their energy on actions that matter, in other words, making vision and strategy a reality.

What do we know about change management?

  • While change can be sudden, chaotic, iterative, nonlinear, and constant, your response can be planned and strategic.
  • Individuals make things happen.
  • Change will occur if individuals commit to using and trying out new behaviors.
  • Helpful relationships build crucial social currency for key people to effect changes.
  • Knowing how to ask questions is more important than knowing the answers.
  • Leaders focus on actions that matter, becoming teachers and role models.
  • Difficult people decisions are almost always involved.
  • Things will probably get worse before they get better.

 "When people are at their wit's end, they're more receptive to change. That's when they're most committed to making things happen." Ranit Herfeld, CEO, Inside Solutions

What don't we know about change management?

What's your challenge?

Brilliant strategy, poor execution.


Translating strategy to action is the most difficult aspect of the change process. We often see disconnects between strategy and the day-to-day operating reality. Why? The usual suspects are:
  •  Lag time: little or no calculation is made about how steep the learning curve may be for all involved; the lag time between the official announcement of strategic change and smooth operations can be substantial.
  • Silos: information flow disintegrates because of silo-type communications within and between departments.
  • Crosstalk between thinkers and doers: those that dream up the strategy and those that have to execute are on different channels.

People aren't aligned with strategy and technology.

You need to check your "WIIFM."

Aligning people with strategy and technology is a function of vision. Yet, vision is an invisible field, an abstract idea. It can only be understood by its effect, the intended results, which often has little (obvious) direct or immediate reward for employees.

That's why your vision must pass the "WIIFM" test. Does it explain the "What's In It For Me?" What will they get out of aligning with a strategy and technology that is forcing them to do things differently, learn new things, or maybe even put them out of job? Explain the "WIIFM" (over and over again) and your change efforts will start to align.

Executive team is not on board.

Every change effort needs champions. Those champions have to be found in your executive team. Weak 'buy-in' from the leadership can block or derail the best-laid change plans. The heart of strategic change lies with the leadership. When leaders make the strategic choice to focus on actions that matter, change will happen. Leadership is about making a vision happen. When an organization undergoes significant and fundamental transition, leaders must be teachers and role models of the new actions and behaviors needed to achieve that vision.

People are resisting change.


People resist what they don't understand. You can never over-communicate. Continuous, open, and rapid information exchange and knowledge sharing are key to successful change management. If you're sick of talking about it, you've probably only connected with a fraction of your people. Talk it up some more.

People know what the problems are, usually have strong opinions about the current situation, and really do want to improve their workplace. The real question is:

What is the best strategy to move people quickly to actions that make them part of the solution, rather than observers (or resisters) on the sidelines?

Integration of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM) is elusive.

Is CRM the strategic engine, central to being a customer-centered organization, or is it one of many sales tools? First, your answer to this question must be very clear, no ambiguity. Second, are your rewards and systems helping or hindering integration? Third, people skill sets need to be similar to the technology they are using-information sharing needs to be fast, focused, integrated. Do you have the right people with the right knowledge and skills?

Integration problems manifest themselves in many ways. The key to solving CRM people problems lies in the word "relationship." The more helpful relationships there are within your organization, the more information will be shared. Make sure you're walking the talk of your CRM strategy by creating helpful relationships across boundaries.


Anything sound familiar?

Change in the workplace looks like a lot of things. Does anything here sound familiar?

Have you invested in a new CRM (customer relationship management) or eCRM strategy?

Are you migrating to a multi-channeled approach to marketing?

Has your company adopted new operating strategies?

Do you have a mandate to improve customer satisfaction?

Is a down economy forcing you to do more with fewer resources?

Do you need to improve teamwork or internal communications?

Has your company invested in new or upgraded technology or software?

Are you planning for a merger, acquisition or significant growth?

Do you need to mobilize employees to share knowledge (locally or globally)?

Are you anticipating big changes and want to be prepared?


Dark Horse Strategies will help you reach your business goals at least cost to you. Contact us at to explore how our consultants can serve your business.


Change Management Process

Organizational Change Readiness Score Card

 Conditions for Change Test

Your Job is Change

Assist Employees to Thrive During Change








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