4 Strategies to Manage Change Effectively

Mark Bridges
3 min readMar 2, 2023

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in becoming an expert on Change Management, take a look at Flevy’s Change Management Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

To remain competitive in a constantly evolving corporate environment, most businesses will need to undergo significant changes at some point in their lifecycle.

Change Management, also known as Organizational Change or Organizational Change Management, involves implementing new policies, processes, or structures within an organization.

The objective of Organizational Change Management is to control the changes being made to achieve the desired business objectives. Changes may be necessary due to shifts in the business environment, such as changes in market demand, the introduction of new technology, shifts in leadership or management, changes in consumer preferences, and alterations in government regulation.

Effective Change Management is crucial because it allows organizations to adapt to changing conditions, remain competitive, and meet the needs of their customers, stakeholders, and the market environment in general.

There are several Change Management Strategies, each with their own underlying assumptions and selection criteria. Change Management Strategies can be grouped into 4 major categories:

1. Empirical-Rational.

2. Normative-Re educative.

3. Power-Coercive.

4. Environmental-Adaptive.

The first 3 of these strategies are shortened versions of standard Change Management approaches based on works of by Kenneth Benne and Robert Chin, while Fred Nickols is the creator of the Environmental-Adaptive Change Strategy.

Let’s go a little more into the specifics of these strategies.

Empirical-Rational

Empirical-Rational approach assumes that people are rational and motivated by their own self-interest, and effective change relies on the efficient transmission of information and incentives.

Normative-Reeducative

Normative-Reeducative approach assumes that people are social creatures who conform to cultural norms and standards, and successful change relies on identifying and interpreting these norms and making commitments to them.

Power-Coercive

Power-Coercive approach assumes that people are obedient and can be compelled to comply with demands, and successful change relies on the use of power and sanctions.

Environmental-Adaptive

Finally, the Environmental-Adaptive approach assumes that people adapt to changing circumstances and successful change involves establishing a new organization and gradually moving people from the old to the new.

Interested in learning more about 4 Strategies of Change Management? You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on 4 Strategies of Change Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Change Management?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Change Management. Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

“The only constant in life is change.” — Heraclitus

Such is true for life, as it is for business. The entire ecosystem our organization operates in — our customers, competitors, suppliers, partners, the company itself, etc. — is constantly changing and evolving. Change can be driven by emerging technology, regulation, leadership change, crisis, changing consumer behavior, new business entrants, M&A activity, organizational restructuring, and so forth.

Thus, the understanding of, dealing with, and mastery of the Change Management process is one of the most critical capabilities for our organization to develop. Excellence in Change Management should be viewed as a source of Competitive Advantage.

Learn about our Change Management Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.

For even more best practices available on Flevy, have a look at our top 100 lists:

· Top 100 in Strategy & Transformation

· Top 100 Consulting Frameworks

· Top 100 in Digital Transformation

· Top 100 in Operational Excellence

· Top 100 in Organization & Change

--

--

Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management. https://flevy.com