Change Management versus Change Leadership

Change management is a familiar term for many. But as the pace of technology change accelerates and becomes more integrated with business processes, there is an emerging and increasing need for change leadership. They sound similar; but what exactly is the difference between change management and change leadership?

Change management is facilitating the change process.

Change leadership empowers action that allows change to take off.

Change management is about making change initiatives efficient.

Change leadership is more collaborative and seeks to inspire.

Change management is about controlling change.

Change leadership requires tolerating risk.

Change management is making small changes at one time or implementing change in a series of manageable steps.

Change leadership is initiating change on a larger scale.

Change management is concerned with order, timeliness, and budgets.

Change leadership is a response to an urgent need for change.

Change management integrates change into the status quo.

Change leadership innovates and sets a vision for a new normal.

Change management is encouraging people to adapt to change.

Change leadership is empowering people to create change.

Becoming skilled at change management is often a matter of going through the change process a few times, using some tools and techniques, and remaining organized and planful. Becoming skilled at change leadership is developing another set of competencies altogether.

Change leadership requires leadership skills. These are more difficult to define and take a longer time to develop. These are things like knowing the business (internally and externally), building trust, communicating an inspiring vision, and encouraging innovation.














Eva Rykrsmith

Eva Rykrsmith is an organizational psychology practitioner. Her passion lies in bringing a psychology perspective to the business world, with the mission of creating a high-performance environment. Follow her @EvaRykr.

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