in Leading Change, Leading Projects, Process Improvement, Quality Improvement

15 Key Lessons On Managing Change

Change, they say, is the only constant. With rapid globalization and advent of technology, the rate of change in society and in organizations has just multiplied.

We may not be ‘change management experts’, but having a set of thumb rules always helps when dealing with change (because at some point, we have to face/manage/lead a change). Based on my experience in implementing organizational change through processes and people, here are a few key lessons I have derived:

  1. Change is difficult because it pulls us out of our comfort. Change challenges us to do things differently. Any meaningful change always comes with a set of associated pains. 
  2. Every change has its settling time and that depends on you/your organization/your context.
  3. Change eliminates (on a long run) those who don’t adapt. Remember what Charles Darwin said?
  4. Changes are driven by external factors (e.g. market forces) and internal ones (e.g. internal re-organizations, initiative to change etc.)
  5. We have to be conscious enough to identify, assess and trigger internally driven changes. (because a lot of progress depends on that)
  6. It is always more fun to change ourselves (internally driven) than to be forced to change by external triggers.
  7. That means, even when everything is seemingly going great, you need to watch out for signs of change.
  8. Change can be a great learning experience if we know when and how to align ourselves (and our mindsets).
  9. Ability to change, readiness to realignment and agility in mindset are the new competitive advantages.
  10. To implement change, you can either preach tactics to change, or you can drive change through a compelling purpose and value. (so that people ‘want’ to change)
  11. Because the fact is, people only change when "they want to change’.
  12. In organizational context, constant training and support on change is essential to remove barriers for people who are impacted by the change.
  13. Trying to change everything at once is a sure recipe for failure. Let change be gradual. Change a few most critical things. Changes need to be prioritized.
  14. You can be a ‘victim’ of change, ‘manage’ a change, or lead it through. You create maximum impact when you ‘lead’ the change. (Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”)

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  1. Very nice post sir, indeed, change is something we should always be open for. reminds me a quote

    If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.

    Can you elaborate on “Any meaningful change always comes with a set of associated pains.”?

    • @Jay – Thanks for sharing that quote, but my thinking is that if situation is good/bad, it won’t change on its own unless we do something about it ourselves.

      For the first point, the point I intend to drive home is that change is not always seamless. It may cause friction. It may disrupt things. It may require us to put that extra, and sometimes even push ourselves. It demands change in our habits, and hence it is painful to some extent. Realizing that change will come with associated pains helps us to align ourselves/our teams to embrace the change and manage the pain points.

      Hope that clarifies.


  2. Firstly 3 cheers for this knowledge packed blog.
    All points mentioned are so very different and yet co-relative to each other and again very much to the point.
    Something which would be very useful for a growing organization where old rooted process and practices needs to be changed and it requires an attitude to introduce and manage change. I liked all points specifically # 6 and 7 which requires a real attitude and open mind set to welcome a change within us – because it’s rightly said and mentioned here that to bring a change, be a part of the change first.
    Loved this post and thanks for this Sir.

    Jay Chhaya

    • @Bob – Thanks for the comment and I am glad that this ‘motherhood-and-apple-pie’ stuff bought you here to comment 🙂 These are my lessons and shared with a view that it will help a few other people to whatever extent it can.

      I take your feedback, for the betterment of future posts.


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  • 15 Key Lessons On Managing Change – QAspire Blog | Tech4buziness – Eng September 30, 2010

    […] You can be a ‘victim’ of change, ‘manage’ a change, or lead it through. You create maximum impact when you ‘lead’ the change. (Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”) via […]