Every business should go through the process of change management. It is inconceivable for any business to go too long without changing some aspects of the way that it works, simply because things change all around them.

The main things that change fall into one of four categories:

  1. Economic changes – there is a constant need to steer a course through the changes in the economy and particularly the impact that this has on your customer.
  2. Competition – there is constant pressure to keep up with, or ahead of, your competition. If one or more of them change the way you do things, you can bet that it will not be too long before you have to change to adapt to it.
  3. Technology changes – changes in technology mirror “Moore’s Law” pretty closely which means that every eighteen months there could be a need to make changes to keep up with technology. This doesn’t mean that you have to keep up with every change, but it does mean that you should give some thought as to whether or not you should.
  4. Fashion – Sometimes goods or services simply go out of fashion.

Therefore, change management should be the norm in any business, providing you follow the golden rule of change management, which is:

Never change for the sake of it; only change for real, operational benefits

The difference between change management and business transformation is one of degree. If your business needs a major overhaul it will no longer be enough for you to carry out a process of continuous improvement of the type that you can deliver through a change management process. You may need to carry out some substantial “root and branch” changes to your business, even if it causes some short term disruption. Such changes come under the heading of Business Transformation.

Remember, you can improve your business by making changes, often small ones. To transform your business you must make a lot of changes, often large ones.