Change Management

Difference between Management, Continuous Improvement & Change Management

Business change management

As it indicates, “Change Management” is about managing “Change”, a transition from one state of affairs to another. How does “Change Management” differ from “Management”, and how does “Continuous Improvement” fit within these?

These are my own definitions and opinions, but I define the levels of change as follows:

Management” is about managing (groups of) people and projects per established work processes and expectations. It is a steady state activity.

Continuous Improvement” (CI) is an established culture of continuously making small, incremental improvements to processes, products, services, the way we do things. This culture is embedded within and part of above-mentioned Management. It often does, but CI does not necessarily need a real problem, just the urge to do something a little better every day. Continuous Improvement is at the core of “Lean”

Tools used to support the technical implementation of CI initiatives include PDCA and DMAIC

Change Management” is the art of initiating and implementing significant Change within an organization: changing the course of a business, wholesale makeovers of what we do and how we do it, merging or splitting companies or departments.

Change management
Change management
Business problems

“Change Management” is usually the result of big problems: the world (markets, technology) has changed, the way we have been doing things “ain’t gonna cut it anymore”. Real Change has the potential for shaking things up within the organization and therefore needs to be handled carefully: change causes push-back by vested interests and those that have other reasons to resist.

Tools used include John Kotter’s “8-step model for change” and ADKAR.

John Kotter developed his “8-step model for change” over decades studying failing and successful Change Projects. This model describes the high-level steps to prevent push-back from staff and make a change program successful.

The Prosci ADKAR model is an “individual change framework”. It focuses more on the human aspect of the individual and is much less encompassing compared to Kotter’s 8-step model for change.

About Change Management and Business Transformation

The problem of my clients is usually that they cannot meet demand (Sales exceed the capacity of Operations), they work long hours and are stressed out.

They are not as profitable as they can and want to be

Some have challenges with hiring and retention.

Some of them are all of the above AND want to (semi-) retire.

To resolve these issues, I guide my clients through a process of Business Transformation.

Using my “3-step model for Business Transformation” we define the Current State, Future State and then develop an Action Plan to fill the gap. It is a technical model (yes, I am an Engineer by education after all) and in itself it ignores the human and other sources for push-back. My model simply states “this needs to be done, let’s find a way to get it done”.

However, the human factor is real and cannot be ignored. Concepts and techniques of Operational & Organizational Change Management are therefore an integral part of the journey to achieve our objectives.

Why do I refer to “Operational & Organizational Change Management”, rather than just “Change Management”? It may be a trivial thing, but the purpose is to emphasize that my work is about the “inner workings” of a business:

  • The organizational structure of the business (org chart)
  • Work processes, management practices, systems
  • The Vision for the business that drives the required changes in the above

Kotter’s is my preferred Change model for supporting your Business Transformation, and I make it abundantly clear to my clients how and when the various tools, brainstorms and other exercises that I use are complementing Kotter’s theory.
See John Kotter’s “8-step model for change” for more information

business plan

Success Story

Internation Womens Day

Rather than a Business Owner, my Indigenous client was, what I call, “self-employed with help from contractors”.

At the start of the pandemic her demand exploded, she had no way to keep up and did now know how to grow her business.

I worked with her for 10 weeks (weekly 1-2 hr online sessions):

- Created her Vision for the business
- Visualized an Organizational Structure supporting that Vision
- Improved awareness of her Finances
- Share other business con concepts

Soon after this she started hiring 4 members of her community as employees. After helping her refine her pitch, she went on winning several pitch competitions gaining her substantial grants for buying equipment. She is now a confident and successful business woman who made it in the newspapers with International Women’s Day 2022.

Videography / Film-Making Start-up

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