“Digital transformation, agile way of working, data-driven decision making, sustainability and new regulations are driving organizations to change faster than before. The same things also provide new tools for modern change manager.”

Changes are continuous never-ending processes. They happen simultaneously in all areas of our life – in worst cases whether we want them to happen or not. The only constant is change.

Digital transformation, agile way of working, data-driven decision making, sustainability and new EU legislations are driving organizations to change faster than before. The same things also provide new tools for modern change manager.

Digital transformation & new technologies. One of the main change drivers is the rapid evolution of technology. Many organizations embark on digital transformation projects, which encompass for example the integration of new software, the development of mobile applications, the adoption of cloud technologies and AI.

Agile & Iterative Processes. With the popularity of agile methodologies in project management and software development, change management has also adopted more iterative processes. This allows for faster response to feedback and adjusting strategies in real-time. In today’s fast-paced world change managers need to have flexible mindset and be prepared for unexpected.

Data-Driven Decision Making. Using data, analytics, and other well thought metrics, also change managers get insights into how change is being perceived and adopted, making the process more evidence based.

Sustainability. Today all changes need to be sustainable and support the organizations’ sustainability strategy and goals. Modern change management focuses on reinforcing change, measuring its long-term sustainability impact, and adjusting when necessary.

To successfully navigate change, change manager need a mix of emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, communication skills, and good understanding of both technology and people. I opened underneath some of the key elements which we are using.

Elements of modern change management

1. Holistic Approach. Modern change management doesn’t focus only on strategic or process changes but looks at the whole organization and its needs. This includes understanding how the change affects organizational culture, people behaviour, technologies, sustainability, legislations, processes, structures, customers, and brand equity.

2. Employee-Centricity. Modern change management places a significant emphasis on understanding the employee experience. This includes addressing resistance, managing emotions, arranging education, training, and ensuring clear communication. It is vital to have open dialog and use all communication channels which best fit to your employees.

3. Customer-Centricity. Despite the organization’s internal changes you need to serve your customers better and better every day. Integrate customer experience into your change project. Understand how the change will affect the customer journeys. Plan how, where and when you communicate the change to your customers. Listen, get feedback and act based on that.

4. Stakeholder Engagement. Engaging stakeholders early and often is crucial. This includes not only top management but also those who will be directly affected by the change.

5. Integrated Communications: In the age of digital communication, it’s essential to use multiple channels to communicate change – from emails, webinars, and intranet portals to one-on-one sessions.

6. Training & Skill Development: Ensuring employees have the skills needed for the future state is paramount. This might include formal training sessions, e-learning modules, gaming, or mentorship programs.

7. Brand equity: Modern change managers use organization’s values in their everyday work. They understand brand development and therefore work with brand owners to make sure the changes improve brands’ value in agreed way.

8. Networks Over Hierarchies: Rather than relying solely on a top-down approach, modern change efforts often leverage influential networks within organizations. This can include informal leaders or “change champions” who help drive and reinforce change.

9. Emphasis on Resilience: In today’s fast-paced world, change is constant. Modern change management, therefore, places an emphasis on building resilience within teams and organizations, helping them to adapt to ongoing changes.

10. Use of Technology: Change management utilizes technology platforms and tools for collaboration, communication, feedback collection, gaming, and training.

No matter the size of a change or if it affects your employees, customers, processes or technology, someone needs to take the responsibility of the change and manager it actively. Because of people’s hectic work and the overwhelming social media and 24h information flow, organizations’ strategic changes need structured but flexible change management more than ever before.

Modern change manager drives the change holistically from all stakeholders’ point of views. It’s a full-time job in most cases. We ensure the targeted change really happens and the organization sustains it even after the project team has gone.

Merja Vane-Tempest

Program Director