Change Management Programs

Change Management Programs enable companies to control the installation of new processes to improve the realization of business benefits. These programs involve devising change initiatives, generating organizational buy-in, implementing the initiatives as seamlessly as possible and generating a repeatable model for ensuring continued success in future change efforts. A Change Management Program allows leaders to help people succeed, showing where and when trouble is likely to occur and laying out a strategy for mitigating risks and monitoring progress.

Usage and satisfaction among survey respondents


How Change Management Programs work:

Change Management Programs require managers to:

  • Focus on results. Maintain a goal-oriented mindset by establishing clear, non-negotiable goals and designing incentives to ensure these goals are met.
  • Identify and overcome barriers to change. Companies identify employees most impacted and also work to predict, measure and manage the risk of change.
  • Repeatedly communicate simple, powerful messages to employees. In times of change, leaders alter communication frequency and methods to manage how a shaken workforce perceives and reacts to information:
    • Ensure sponsorship throughout the organization. To allow sponsorship to reach all levels of an organization, companies enlist multiple sponsors to provide all individuals with access to—and the influence of—a sponsor.
    • Reorganize around decision making. Companies develop a system for identifying, making and executing the most important decisions.
  • Continuously monitor progress. Companies follow through and monitor the progress of each change initiative to tell if it is following the intended path or veering off course.
Related topics Bain capabilities

Companies use Change Management Programs to:

  • Implement major strategic initiatives to adapt to changes in markets, customer preferences, technologies or the competition's strategic plans
  • Align and focus an organization when going through a major turnaround
  • Implement new process initiatives

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Selected references

Axelrod, Richard H. Terms of Engagement: Changing the Way We Change Organizations. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2000.

Clark, Timothy R. EPIC Change: How to Lead Change in the Global Age. Jossey-Bass, 2008.

Harvard Business School. Harvard Business Review on Leading Through Change. Harvard Business Press, 2006.

Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Harvard Business Press, 1996.

Kotter, John P., and Dan S. Cohen, The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. Harvard Business Press, 2002.

Lawler, Edward E. III, and Christopher P. Worley. Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness. Jossey-Bass, 2006.

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