Bang Your Drum Part 4: The Constancy of Change Managers

Posted on July 2017 By Speller International
Bang Your Drum Part 4: The Constancy of Change Managers

​The role of Change Manager can vary from role to role, but there are key things companies will be looking for. This month in our ongoing blog series Bang Your Drum, we investigate the essential qualities that make for great Change Managers.


A Change Manager may be an Organisational Development professional, a full time internal Change consultant, a leader of a division or simply a manager charged with the responsibility of bringing Change to their area or simply a team leader who gets employees excited about Change

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the absolute essentials that any company will want to see in their next prospective Change Manager.

1. Business intelligence

Not all projects are the same. A solution that worked great once before may not work out so well next time around! And as nice as it is to imagine there is a one-size-fits all approach to the challenges that pop up from project to project, don’t fall victim to wishful thinking. Good Change Managers are able to adapt their approach and apply the most appropriate methodology to the task at hand. In fact, they anticipate the unexpected, and are able to adjust accordingly when problems emerge.

2. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks, to bounce back in times of difficulty. The more stressed you are, the less your team or employees will be willing to buy-in to the change you are seeking to bring about.

As any good Change Manager will tell you, there will almost always be setbacks. It’s how you deal with these and move forward that will reveal your worth as a Change Manager.

3. Empathy, warmth & sensitivity

Imagine you’d been in the same job for over 10 years. You’d have certain attitudes to things, and ways of handling situations that would have long become second nature. In times of change, where the old rules may no longer apply, uncertainty can be very worrying. The better you can put yourself in the shoes of those who carry such concerns, the better equipped you are to help them navigate times of transition.

4. A leader’s confidence

Let’s face it – a leader without the confidence to lead the charge is not a leader. People are generally afraid of change. If you’re not able to get people to rally around your cause at the outset, they won’t be there to help you see it through to its end. The more determined and confident you are about the change ahead, the more excitement you’ll be able to impart to those you need on board.

5. Openness to change

This may sound obvious, but it bears pointing out! As Change Manager, you need to exemplify the kind of openness required from your team or employees. You must be ready to embrace different approaches, and communicate the value to be found in new ways of seeing and doing things.

6. Self-reliance in the face of resistance

One of your most difficult battles will mostly likely be with stakeholders. They can be among the most resistant to change, and each stakeholder will be different. As Change Manager, you’ll be required to accommodate those differences, and discover the best ways to get these Stakeholders on-board, and in turn become a Change Agent

7. Perfectionism & perseverance

It’s been said that perfect is the enemy of good, but without an eye for the smallest of details and an urge to get things 100%, your projects may suffer. A little perfectionist thinking can be of great value. And since projects can be long and tiresome, it’s important that you have the perseverance you need to plough ahead, and keep things moving forward.

8. A penchant for priorities… and politics

Organisations will ask for things all at once sometimes. They’ll even want them all done at once too. Remember though that too much change at one time will not work. It’s likely in fact to cause more resistance. The ability to understand organisational priorities will be of lasting value in your work, making your job easier and helping the change journey. And don’t be afraid to play a little politics. Listen to the people on the front line of your project. They’ll be a useful source of intelligence, as well as powerful advocates for change if they feel their input is being valued.

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, a lot goes into the role. Ultimately, a Change Manager must be a flexible yet dependable character, able to carry the weight of a project’s stress with authority and confidence.

Do you think you have the skills? It might be time for a change yourself…