A CPHR Is Your Partner In Change Leadership

I'm a CPHR

Whether marked by growth, downsizing or disruption, change is a reality for most companies in today’s competitive market. Because the environment is changing fast, being able to lead change is perhaps the most critical capability expected of business leaders today.

In uncertain times, a CPHR can help your leadership team gain their footing and help apply the best people management strategies to ensure a smooth transition is made during organizational change and restructuring or the implementation of efficient new processes.

CPHRs are expert at supporting the organization and its need for change and facilitating the change process: improving change leadership capability, enabling people to respond to new realities or requirements of the job, and shoring up the organization’s ability to be well-situated from a staffing perspective now and in the future.

What is Change Leadership?

Change leadership is the ability to influence and enthuse others through personal advocacy, vision and drive, and to access resources to build a solid platform for change.

A 2014 IBM survey of 1,500 global leaders found that only 20 per cent of organizations consider themselves competent at leading change. 70 per cent of respondents said their change initiatives fell short of meeting their project objectives of time, cost and quality. Similar numbers occurred when introducing mergers and acquisitions.

The downfall of many managers is that they fail to discern the difference between “leading change” and “managing change.” You can be a great manager, yet a poor leader. Inevitably, this leads to a system failure when trying to institute organizational change. A few examples:

A manager will focus on tasks, checklists and outcomes. But a leader will focus on relationships with their people and the conditions for success. Along with solving problems, they must build and support the internal community.

A manager negotiates commitments. But a leader will inspire because they understand that inspiration powers engagement.

A manager pretends like they know what’s going to happen. But a leader will look, listen and learn from their people and lean into the experiences required for genuine transformation.

Change leaders will want a CPHR on their team to encourage employees to commit to (get buy-in) and champion the vision. They can be an invaluable resource in energizing the change process and removing any remaining barriers to change. A CPHR can play several important roles in supporting and implementing organizational change:

  • Joining the company owner in planning and implementing the change project. Responsibilities can range from restructuring the team to advising on the introduction of new training tools to help ensure a smooth and efficient transition.
  • Bringing specialized knowledge and intrinsic expertise to help leaders better understand the necessary architectural structure of successful change. This may include coaching, facilitating educational workshops or locating resources, such as reading materials and theoretical models.
  • Advising the company through the process of creating or implementing change. Whether overseeing a small department restructuring or wholesale organizational change, a CPHR is able to challenge key people and guide them toward the goal of getting it right.
  • Setting expectations of the process, troubleshooting problems that occur and managing others’ reactions to change. This is especially invaluable when discussing complex matters such as succession planning, joint ventures and exit strategies.

Many business leaders have a tendency to act swiftly and conclude the change process quickly. After all, they’ve seen it coming for months. A CPHR can act like a good conscience, guiding the organization to pay attention to all possible aspects of change, even when it seems unpopular or is deemed unnecessary. Often, a CPHR’s greatest values are patience, persistence and perspective. That includes insisting that all components of the change are communicated, understood, tested and monitored to make sure the final impact on the organization is meaningful and sustainable.

CPHRs understand the value of strategic change leadership and they know how to maximize its value to achieve results. If your change strategy isn’t gaining traction, ask a CPHR.