Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Change Management

Planning for a big change in your organization? These pieces from the archives might just make the process a little less painful.

Associations are in a position where, over time, evolution is a necessity to ensure that the organization keeps up with its members and industry.

But change isn’t always easy—and you may need change management to help push you forward. Check out the Associations Now and asaecenter.org archives for a few insights on where to start, including advice from organizations that went through the change-management process:

Change Management, Inside Out. This piece, from the July/August 2019 issue of Associations Now, breaks down experiences different associations have faced when undergoing major changes. “You really have to understand your staff and what is going to unsettle each of them,” said Kristin C. Hodgson, CAE, then manager of global chapter development, North America, for the Project Management Institute. “And if they don’t bring it up to you, you have to be able to bring it up to them.”

‌Making Big Changes? Talk About It. A Lot. Of course, making changes to a big organization means a lot of discussion beforehand. This piece, a companion to the previous link, offers advice for associations looking to make changes. “Probably the worst thing that could happen is that the leader is speaking to a cultural change where all the listeners don’t actually think that’s the culture they live in,” said Jim McNeil, the executive vice president and chief executive of business and trade industry practice at SmithBucklin.

How Change-Management Coaching Helped One Group Deal With Growing Pains. The story of CareSource’s use of change-management coaching to help employees get a handle on the organization’s fast internal growth, as well as the retirement of its CEO, offers a lot of lessons for association pros. “It was about bringing them together to help them look at change from a more systemic viewpoint, to make sure that they’re working together and collaborating even more effectively,” said CareSource Coaching and Mentoring Manager Matt Becker.

Preparing Your Staff for Organizational Change. This blog post by career expert Barbara Mitchell makes the case that association pros should plan for big changes with employees in mind. “Identify ‘change champions’: the people who will jump enthusiastically into a new initiative and will help bring others along,” she suggests. “If you don’t know who you can count on to be a change champion, now’s the time to find them.”

Rethinking the Change Adoption Curve. This 2017 piece, by Wes Cronkite of M Powered Strategies, argues that your organization should focus on enabling early adopters to embrace change more fully, while admitting that late adopters or laggards may not make the change as quickly, if at all. “Your strategy should be to empower those who adopt the change early,” Cronkite wrote. “If you position your change such that early adopters gain benefits that the laggards don’t, then you put your change strategy in a better position to succeed.”


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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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