Change management strategy

How to address the key strategic leadership issues by taking full account of the people who are most impacted by the change...


Change management strategy is very specifically about moving from the output of your strategic review to a successful programme implementation.

As far as I am concerned it also very much to do with avoiding the 3 main causes of failure:

  • The vision-implementation gap

  • Resistant cultures and sub-cultures

  • Failure to address the full impact of change on those most affected

Bridging the gap between strategic vision and sucessful programme implementation

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Take a look at this brief video of Ken Blanchard [One Minute Manager] on Change Strategy:





The strategic review process will address variations of the 3 standard questions: "Where have we come from - where are we now - and where do we want to be?"

But to properly and thoroughly address the impact of the implementation of this strategy [and its full change implications] on those most affected, and also to begin addressing the WIFM question I use an additional set of processes that I have created and that unpack the cultural issues.

I call this the EEMap(c) process [so called because it maps the route through the stages of Evolution from review to implementation and identifies and addresses all the Exposures enroute].


    The EEMap process addresses the strategic leadership issues surrounding change management strategy and the output of this process forms the input for the creation of a programme to manage your whole initiative.

    This is Pre-Programme Preparation and is key to successful change management strategy.


Here is an overview of the Pre-Programme Preparation process [or more correctly, set of processes].There are three phases to this process, in overview:

EEMap Process Overview


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(1) Situation Analysis – that addresses the questions: Where have we come from? Where are we now? Where do we want to get?

The output of this process is a

Culture Map© that defines a cultural framework for the company.


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The cultural framework will also identify all of the significant subcultures within the company that will assist or resist progress towards the business objectives of the change management strategy.

This is created through sessions held with representative groups of all staff at all levels and in all entities that will be impacted by the proposed venture. Examples and previous templates are used to assist and speed up the process, which is also referenced, to vision, strategy and business objectives.

This phase is all about corporate cognition. The Culture Maps provide a common language and a structured framework to get an end result that is a shared understanding of “this is what we look like”.




(2) Gap Analysis

With reference to the Culture Map - the positions of key entities within the company can be identified and plotted in a Gap Map©


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The Gap Map will show the dominant corporate culture and highlight the gaps between this and the espoused position (which is where the directors say or think the company is), and also the desired position i.e. where they want to get.

Then, the gaps between all of the various subcultures are plotted. This is used to identify areas of “cultural dissonance” – a euphemism I use for friction and disconnects - and a very important aspect of change management strategy.

The whole purpose at this stage is to create a simple pictorial representation of the different positions and the gaps between them.

This is not a hard science but a vehicle by which staff at all levels can articulate, visualise and discuss the reality of the gaps within their organisation and to do so in a unemotional and non-confrontational manner.




(3) Resolution – taking the output of the Gap Map as the start point, the process now addresses the questions: What steps are needed to close the gaps? What are the implications of this?

An EEMap© is created which shows the tasks, steps and processes that have to be undertaken.


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But the significant feature of this process is that it also shows the implications, issues and exposures, which will have to be addressed and dealt with at each step before a successful transition will occur to the next step.

The output of this process is used to address the questions: How are we going to manage the transition? How will we know how we’re doing?

All implications, issues and exposures are analysed, categorised and prioritised across all functional areas impacted by the proposed initiative. You as the director and sponsorof the change strategy can now evaluate the risks involved and determine an appropriate course of action.

This analysis will provide the input to the preparation and delivery of an executable programme plan and subsequently project plans - against defined milestones.

There are variations of how these Pre-Programme Preparation EEMap processes can be applied, with varying levels and permutations of involvement from directors, management and staff, and I would be very happy to discuss your change management strategy with you in more detail.




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Putting it all together and managing the whole messy business


I am a firm believer in “proper preparation and planning”, and I believe that it is worth making the investment of leadership and management time at the outset of a change initiative, to save an inestimable amount of time and resource with a rushed and ill-considered initiative.

Change is a messy business fraught with complexity, multiple factors and many things that can, and usually do, go wrong.

For this reason, the Practitioners' Masterclass includes a complete section on strategic planning and cultural analysis that shows you how to do it using the simple EEMap© process EEMap© process and, even more importantly, how this process identifies and addresses the big problem areas experienced by most change initiatives.

Overall, there are 3 broad areas that need to be included in any successful change initiative, namely:

  • Leadership that directly addresses the transitions and emotional dimension of those impacted by the change, and provides inspirational motivation
  • A change model and methodology that covers the multiple factors that must be addressed
  • Action management that shows and assists people with the specifics of exactly what is required of them

change management strategy,strategic leadership issues,change strategy,change management,change managers,change management training These are addressed in the "Practitioners Masterclass" which takes a holistic view of the key areas and shows you how to put all this into practise.

And all of this is examined, co-related and integrated with the other key areas leading your people through change, putting it all together and managing the whole messy business.

To equip yourself, stay one step ahead with the tools and processes that will enable you to manage the messy stuff - check out the Practitioners' Masterclass [or click on the image to the right].


8 FREE Introductory Lessons from Practitioners Masterclass - HERE





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Putting all this into practise





Further resources

Strategic thinking and leadership - resources

Strategic questions to ask yourself in planning your change initiative

Strategic vision and programme implementation







Return to: Strategies for managing change

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