Three assumptions that hinder leaders from connecting with their employees
When was the last time your organization went through a change?
Major changes often come to mind first: mergers, organizational restructuring, core software upgrades or business transformation efforts. These changes can have radical impacts on nearly every employee, so they are often top of mind.
Smaller and less discrete changes – from expanding a service to setting strategic goals for a team – may not result in the same magnitude of organizational impacts. But for individuals, these changes matter just as much.
The power of change management lies in the fact that it is scalable. You can use the methods and tools for the smallest to the biggest changes. No matter the size or type of change, gaining the intended return on investment is important to everyone involved.
And in the modern workplace, the pace and size of changes is only increasing. Since the 1980s, LaMarsh Global has been improving the capability for organizations and people to change. Over that time, we have observed these trends:
- Changes are more complex.
- Instead of discrete or linear, changes are ongoing and systemic.
- Multiple changes happening at the same time is the norm.
As the pace and magnitude of changes increases, change leaders are becoming even more important in driving the link between organizational goals and employees.
Here are three false assumptions of modern leadership styles, and how you can overcome these assumptions with change management.
Three common (but false) assumptions that inhibit change
Business has undergone a revolution: successful and innovative organizations now welcome change. But this same transformation is absent in many leaders. The old approach to leadership is not aligned to modern business strategy and has expanded common gaps between leaders and their employees.
We have witnessed these three assumptions in organizations of all sizes – especially as they navigate the increasing presence of organizational change.
1. Leaders are leading change
The role of leaders is to lead people which means they lead change. Too often, the main focus of leaders is on deliverables or their busy calendars. That leaves the project teams to attempt to lead change within the organization. We often hear from employees that they are unable to go to their leaders for help because their leaders are preoccupied with other things. Leaders are too busy with work to lead their people. Engaged, effective leadership is critical to success, without it, change efforts tend to be slow or even unsuccessful.
2. Lots of change is good
People are capable of handling more change than traditional change management thinking gives us credit for. It almost appears as if we have taught employees that change is to be resisted or experienced as overwhelming at work. In our non-work life, we somehow seem to manage it and work our way through it.
When organizations are introducing or allowing the introduction of many, many changes at the same time without knowing whether or not employees can ultimately make the changes, there is likely to be a moment when what employees are being asked to is more than they can take on while still doing their day to day work. Other than in process type work, we often have little idea whether people have more work than they can get done, lots of free time or just the right amount of work. Additionally, we don’t know how many changes are impacting employees at any moment in time. This leads to employees making their own decisions around what they will do, what they won’t do and what they will do in less than optimal ways. Changes that impact an employee’s ability to get their day to day work done must be prioritized by leaders.
3. Employees are always available for work
In the age of connectivity and technology, employees can be available to work at nearly any moment. For example – when we suggest an employee training session, a response we hear too often is: “Can they take the training online at home?” This has blurred the lines between home and work, and employees that are “always on” tend to be less engaged and productive. They are less willing to understand the goals of a change effort.
Change management was founded on coaching leaders to build the employee acceptance, skill, competency and behaviors necessary in a change capable organization.
A new approach to change management
For decades, experts in organizational structure and change have been studying the processes that contribute to effective changes. LaMarsh Global has been central to the creation of applied processes to manage change, with the goal of reducing the risk for all sizes and types of changes.
The culmination of years of research is Managed Change – LaMarsh Global’s methodology for change management that has been used by thousands of organizations around the globe. It has been successful because it builds change management capability in individuals. It strengthens every leader.
Our experts developed Managed Change using their experiences as employees and consultants, and you can learn the skills, methodology and tools to become a better leader.
In alignment with the change management standards of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP), Managed Change provides the foundation for certification.
Although we are proud to help individuals achieve certification, we often reiterate that it is not your credentials that determine how successfully you can manage change. Rather, it is how you apply the discipline to real-life problems.
Change management certification is sought after in many organizations today as a method to apply people-first solutions through a proven process.
Change management as a recognized discipline
For 45 years, researchers and experts at LaMarsh Global have been studying how organizations approach change. Their observations of thousands of organizations have resulted in a structured methodology that can be internalized and transferred among teams. We have tested our approach and filtered out the tactics that do not contribute to real success.
The result is Managed Change. Since 1985, LaMarsh Global has been training and supporting change leaders to proactively manage organizational changes. We have been advancing the methodology to be applicable to a broader range of sectors and types of changes since well before change management was integrated into courses and programs at colleges and universities.
Our goal has always been to develop change management competency in organizations and confidence in individuals. And the interest has been astounding.
We have been offering workshops ever since the late 1980s, both to the public and within organizations. Training individuals and teams within organizations transformed this discipline from a theory to tools and action steps that can be immediately applied.
Managed Change is a recognized methodology for change management by the Association of Change Management Professionals. By learning and applying Managed Change, you can achieve certification and join the ranks of change management professionals around the world.
As we expanded our services and training, the goal has remained: to transfer knowledge and cultivate internal change capability.
Certification benefits individuals and organizations
Applying the Managed Change methodology provides you with the knowledge and experience to attain recognition as a certified change management practitioner. And Managed Change will offer the framework and resources to be successful.
Managed Change certification offers three benefits:
- Employees can leverage certification.
- Change practitioners can create opportunities with certification.
- A topic less commonly discussed – certification benefits organizations.
Change management certification is an extension of the training we offer. You can improve your change management skill set while on the path to attain certification.
Change leaders are in demand
LaMarsh Global has been training change leaders since the 1980s – well before certification was available and the buzzwords were common in boardrooms around the world. But ever since we started offering workshops, there has been a steady demand.
The demand for effective leaders has certainly not diminished. Rather, as change management continues to be recognized for its contributions to the success of projects and organizations, we are noticing a sustained demand.
We certainly don’t expect organizations to stop changing. So effective change leaders will continue to find opportunities.
Change leaders create value
The value of change management comes from three areas:
- Obtaining better results.
- Improving innovation and creating breakthrough moments.
- Reducing the risk associated with the acceptance and adoption of change.
Leaders can create true value for projects and teams by improving the connections with their employees.
Organizations benefit from certification
Individual certification has benefits for the individual. But there are benefits that organizations can be mindful to leverage, whether through supporting education or thoughtful hiring.
Formal certification of individuals has connections to the values of an organization – particularly their focus on innovation and people. Researchers from Michigan summed up how organizations define value from certification:
- The use of certification in selection decisions will be higher in innovative and people-oriented organizations than in non-innovative organizations.
- Innovative organizations will have a greater number of professionals who pursue certification than will non-innovative organizations.
This study considers the characteristics of organizations that value professional certification. Acknowledging and supporting certifications are indicative of an organization that values its people, and such organizations tend to place more emphasis on innovation.
When it comes to change management certification, change leaders fortify the focus on innovation and achieving better results. Their approach to leadership matches modern business strategy.
How to achieve change management certification
LaMarsh Global focuses on three aspects to empower individuals to become change leaders and be formally recognized. Our three requirements provide you with the knowledge, tools and experience to be confident in applying change management to your projects and teams.
Our three requirements are:
- Education through our workshops or group training.
- Experience by applying the methodology and tools to real changes.
- Examination to test your understanding of the methodology.
We offer two levels of training that build off each other, meaning you can scaffold your training while you apply Managed Change to real-life changes. ■
Managed Change Practitioner Certification
This is the first step to becoming a change practitioner. Anyone with an interest in applying change management to their own organizations can complete the Managed Change Practitioner Certification.
Change Master Advanced Certification Training
If you are responsible for managing major change projects or lead the change management discipline in your organization, then this workshop is for you. It is designed to build upon your existing knowledge and skill as a change professional whether your base methodology is Managed Change or something else.