Change Management vs. Change Leadership

To facilitate change, we must understand the difference between change management and change leadership. According to contributor, John Kotter, “Change management refers to a set of tools or structure intended to keep any change effort under control. Change leadership, on the other hand, concerns the driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel transformation.”

Accomplishing the desired change in your organization requires you to be a transformational or change leader.

To become a change leader you must do the following:

1. Appeal to both the emotional and rational sides of your employees. Get them to understand the change with both their minds and their hearts, making the change something they both understand and are passionate about.

2. What kind of problem is it? Ask yourself if the obstacle to change is a people problem or a situation problem; once that’s determined, decide whether the issue is caused by an attitude or a company standard. Identifying the problem is pertinent to change.

3. Remove barriers to change. You must look for ways to remove barriers to change. Once the barriers have been identified, determine how to remove them to allow the change process to continue. Make sure to get your employees involved in this phase, it’s critical to the process.

4. Establish employee relationships. Connect people that are struggling with change with other employees who are successfully coping with change. Establishing mentor and mentee relationships could be beneficial to the overall energy of the workplace.

5. Promote a positive company environment. Finally insure that you, the leader, have created an environment that promotes and rewards change. Knowing employees and how to reward them for accepting, promoting, and advancing the change process is paramount.

Involving your employees, creating an environment conducive to change, and piloting the change process will position you as a “Change Leader.”

Mike Moore is the HVAC Training Director at HVAC Learning Solutions, an HVAC industry expert in sales, technical, and business training. Visit Mike’s blog for more insights. Mike can be reached on Twitter @hvaclearning or on Google+ at

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