Have you ever experienced workplace changes that were not well received by your colleagues or caused confusion and resistance?
If so, you understand the importance of effective change management.
Managing change in a structured and organized manner is crucial to the success of any organization, and the Prosci 5 Levers of Change Management provide a comprehensive framework to achieve this.
In this blog post, we will delve into the 5 Levers, including Sponsorship Roadmap, Communication, Coaching, Training and Education, and Resistance Management, and examine how they can be leveraged to navigate change within your organization successfully.
This blog post aims to equip you with the tools and knowledge necessary to lead change initiatives and achieve positive results confidently.
Background of 05 Levers of Change Management
Prosci is a renowned research-based change management consultancy firm studying change management best practices for over 20 years. They have identified that change management is critical to the success of any organization, especially in today’s constantly evolving business environment.
Change management involves planning, executing, and monitoring the change in a structured manner to minimize negative impacts on people, processes, and systems. Effective change management ensures that individuals and teams understand and embrace the change and that the organization can achieve its objectives.
What are Change Levers in Change Management?
The 5 Levers of change management provide a holistic framework for organizations to manage change effectively. The 5 Levers are Sponsorship Roadmap, Communication, Coaching, Training and Education, and Resistance Management. Each lever has its own set of tools and techniques that can be customized to fit the organization’s unique needs and the change initiative.
Lever 1: Sponsorship Roadmap
Who is sponsorship
Sponsorship is the act of advocating for and supporting a change initiative within an organization. Sponsors are typically senior leaders or influential individuals who can help secure buy-in and resources for the change initiative. Sponsorship involves more than just approving the change; it requires active engagement and commitment to the initiative’s success.
Importance of sponsorship
Sponsorship is critical to the success of any change initiative. Without strong sponsorship, securing the resources and support needed to implement the change effectively can be difficult. Sponsors can help communicate the importance of the change to other stakeholders, provide resources and support, and help overcome resistance to the change.
Roles and responsibilities of sponsors
Sponsors have several key roles and responsibilities in the change management process. These include:
- Setting the vision and direction for the change initiative
- Communicating the importance of the change to other stakeholders
- Securing the necessary resources and support for the change initiative
- Identifying and addressing any barriers to the change
- Monitoring the progress of the change initiative and making adjustments as needed
Developing a sponsorship roadmap
A sponsorship roadmap is a plan for engaging sponsors throughout the change process. It includes identifying the key sponsors and their roles and responsibilities, developing a plan for communicating with sponsors and outlining specific activities that sponsors will be involved in at different stages of the change initiative. The sponsorship roadmap helps ensure sponsors are engaged and committed to the change initiative and provides the necessary support and resources for success.
Lever 2: Communication
What is communication?
Communication is the process of exchanging information or messages between individuals or groups. In the context of change management, communication involves sharing information about the change initiative with stakeholders and receiving feedback and input from them.
Importance of Communication
Effective communication is crucial to the success of any change initiative. It helps ensure that all stakeholders understand the change and their role in it and can help overcome any resistance to the change. Clear and consistent communication can also build trust and credibility among stakeholders.
Communication planning involves developing a plan for communicating about the change initiative. This includes identifying the key messages that need to be communicated, determining the appropriate channels for communication, and establishing the frequency and timing of communication. It also involves identifying the stakeholders who need to be communicated with and tailoring the communication to their specific needs and concerns.
Techniques for Effective communication
There are several techniques can help ensure that communication is effective. These include:
- Active listening: Listening carefully to stakeholders’ concerns and feedback and responding appropriately.
- Two-way communication: Encouraging stakeholder feedback and input and using it to inform decision-making.
- Clear and concise messaging: Using simple language to communicate key messages.
- Feedback loops: Establishing mechanisms for receiving feedback and input from stakeholders and using it to refine the communication approach.
- Timely and consistent communication: Ensure stakeholders receive regular and timely updates about the change initiative.
Lever 3: Coaching
What is Coaching?
Coaching provides guidance, feedback, and support to individuals or teams to help them improve their performance. Coaching can help individuals and teams adapt and build new skills and capabilities in change management.
Importance of Coaching
Coaching is important in change management because it can help individuals and teams navigate the change and build the skills and capabilities needed to succeed in the new environment. Addressing concerns and providing support can also help overcome any resistance to the change.
Coaching planning involves:
- Identifying the individuals or teams who need coaching support.
- Determining the specific coaching needs.
- Developing a plan for providing coaching.
This may involve identifying coaches or mentors who can provide support, establishing a coaching schedule, and monitoring progress.
Techniques for Effective Coaching
Several techniques can help ensure effective coaching. These include:
- Active listening: Listening to the concerns and needs of individuals or teams and responding appropriately.
- Providing feedback: Providing constructive feedback to help individuals or teams improve their performance.
- Providing support: Providing emotional and practical support to help individuals or teams navigate the change.
- Setting goals: Helping individuals or teams set goals and develop plans for achieving them.
- Monitoring progress: Monitoring progress and providing ongoing support and feedback as needed.
Lever 4: Training and Education
What is training and education?
Training and education refer to providing individuals or teams with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform their roles effectively. In change management, training, and education can help individuals and teams adapt to the change and build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the new environment.
Importance of training and education
Training and education are important in change management because they can help individuals and teams build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the new environment. Addressing concerns and providing support can also help overcome any resistance to the change.
Developing a training and education Plan
Developing a training and education plan involves:
- Identifying the individuals or teams who need training and education support.
- Determining the specific training and education needs.
- Developing a plan for providing training and education.
This may involve identifying trainers or subject matter experts who can provide support, developing a training schedule, and monitoring progress.
Techniques for effective training and education
Several techniques can help ensure effective training and education. These include:
- Providing relevant and engaging content: Providing content relevant to the individual’s or team’s needs and interests and presenting it engagingly.
- Hands-on learning: Providing hands-on learning and practice opportunities to help individuals or teams build their skills and confidence.
- Tailoring to different learning styles: Tailoring the training and education to different learning styles, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.
- Providing ongoing support: Providing ongoing support and resources to help individuals or teams build their skills and knowledge over time.
- Evaluating effectiveness: Evaluating the effectiveness of the training and education to ensure that it meets the needs of the individuals or teams and drives the adoption of the change.
Lever 5: Resistance Management
What is resistance management?
Resistance management refers to identifying, addressing, and overcoming resistance to change. Resistance can occur at any stage of the change management process and can be caused by various factors, such as fear of the unknown, lack of understanding, or perceived loss of control.
Types of resistance
Several types of resistance may occur during a change initiative, including:
- Active resistance: Individuals or teams oppose the change and may even sabotage the change initiative.
- Passive resistance: Individuals or teams are hesitant to support the change and may be slow to adopt new processes or behaviors.
- Compliance: Individuals or teams go through the motions of supporting the change but do not fully embrace it.
Techniques for overcoming resistance
Several techniques can be used to overcome resistance, including:
- Communication: Addressing concerns and providing information to help individuals or teams understand the reasons for the change and how it will benefit them.
- Participation: Involving individuals or teams in the change process and soliciting their input and feedback.
- Education and training: Providing education and training to help individuals or teams understand the new processes and build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the new environment.
- Incentives: Providing incentives or rewards to encourage individuals or teams to embrace the change.
- Coaching and support: Providing coaching and emotional support to help individuals or teams navigate the change.
Developing a resistance management plan
Developing a resistance management plan involves:
- Identifying the potential sources of resistance.
- Developing strategies for addressing each source.
- Establishing a plan for monitoring and addressing resistance as it arises.
This may involve developing communication plans, identifying training needs, establishing support networks, and monitoring progress to ensure that resistance is effectively managed.
Why are these steps called Levers?
Think of a lever as a tool that helps you achieve more with less effort. In the context of change management, the 5 Levers are a set of plans and activities designed to make the change process smoother and more successful.
For example, the sponsorship roadmap lever focuses on securing buy-in and support from key stakeholders for the change initiative. Engaging these stakeholders early on and getting them on board with the change makes it easier to get other employees to adopt the change.
Similarly, the communication lever helps ensure that everyone understands the change and their role in it. By developing a clear and consistent communication plan, you can avoid confusion and misunderstandings that might otherwise slow down or derail the change process.
The goal of these plans and activities is not just to complete them but to use them strategically to drive employee adoption and usage of the change. By leveraging these plans and activities, you can achieve more success with less effort and help ensure the change initiative is successful in the long run.
Advantages of using 5 Levers change management approach
Using the 5 Levers of Change Management approach offers several advantages, including:
- Comprehensive approach: The 5 Levers approach provides a comprehensive framework for managing change, covering all the essential aspects of change management, including sponsorship, communication, coaching, training, and resistance management.
- Increased adoption and usage: The 5 Levers approach is designed to increase employee adoption and usage of the change by providing the necessary support, resources, and guidance to help employees navigate the change and succeed in the new environment.
- More efficient use of resources: By leveraging the 5 Levers, organizations can allocate resources more efficiently, focusing on the areas most likely to drive adoption and usage rather than wasting resources on ineffective or poorly planned change initiatives.
- Better outcomes: By using a comprehensive and well-planned approach, organizations are more likely to achieve the desired outcomes of their change initiatives, whether it be increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, or other strategic objectives.
- Improved employee engagement: The 5 Levers approach emphasizes the importance of involving and engaging employees in the change process, which can lead to increased motivation, commitment, and job satisfaction and ultimately contribute to a more positive and productive work environment.
Disadvantages of using 5 Levers change management approach
While there are several advantages to using the 5 Levers of Change Management approach, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider, including:
- Complexity: The 5 Levers approach can be complex and time-consuming, requiring significant planning and coordination across multiple departments and stakeholders.
- Resistance to change: Despite the focus on resistance management in the 5 Levers approach, there is still a risk that employees may resist the change, which could lead to delays, increased costs, and lower morale.
- Cost: Implementing the 5 Levers approach can be costly, especially if additional resources, such as trainers or consultants, are required to support the change initiative.
- Lack of flexibility: The 5 Levers approach may not be well-suited to all change initiatives or organizations and may need to be adapted or modified to fit specific circumstances.
- Over-reliance on the process: In some cases, the 5 Levers approach may focus on processes and procedures at the expense of flexibility and creativity, limiting innovation and agility in the organization.
Example of using 5 Levers change management
An example of using the 5 Levers of Change Management approach might involve a company implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. The change initiative aims to improve customer service and increase sales productivity by providing better access to customer data and more efficient sales processes.
Lever 1: Sponsorship Roadmap:The company identifies a senior executive to sponsor the change initiative and develops a sponsorship roadmap that outlines the executive’s roles and responsibilities and the specific actions they will take to support the change.
Lever 2: Communication: The company develops a communication plan that includes regular updates to employees about the CRM system, the benefits it will provide, and the timeline for implementation. The plan also includes techniques for effective communication, such as town hall meetings, newsletters, and webinars.
Lever 3: Coaching: The company provides coaching to employees on using the new CRM system, including training on new features and processes and ongoing support from managers and trainers. The coaching plan also includes techniques for effective coachings, such as one-on-one coaching sessions, group training sessions, and online tutorials.
Lever 4: Training and Education: The company develops a training and education plan that includes both online and in-person training on the new CRM system and ongoing education to ensure that employees remain up-to-date on new features and processes. The plan also includes techniques for effective training and education, such as gamification, simulations, and interactive e-learning modules.
Lever 5: Resistance Management: The company identifies potential sources of resistance to the change, such as employees who are comfortable with the old system or fear of job loss, and develops a resistance management plan that includes strategies for overcoming resistance, such as involving employees in the change process, addressing concerns, and providing incentives for adoption.
5 Levers of change management approach is a powerful tool for managing organizational change. By focusing on the key areas of sponsorship, communication, coaching, training and education, and resistance management, organizations can successfully navigate the challenges of change and ensure that employees effectively adopt and utilize initiatives. Ultimately, this can lead to a more agile and adaptable organization better equipped to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.