Change management is the process of helping employees to understand and accept changes in their business environment. Organizations are always evolving, and whenever they implement a change in processes, systems, structures, or job roles, that change can be disruptive to the people involved. Change management is important because it can reduce the stress and resistance to change that is often experienced by those affected by it, and improve the communication and cooperation needed to keep organizational culture intact.
Traditionally, the implementation of new technologies, changes in leadership, and potential mergers and acquisitions encompassed the majority of changes an organization would experience. Yet, in this time of unprecedented change, global disruptions are forcing companies to transform rapidly and extensively, making change management more important - and challenging - than ever.
Change affects an organization from top to bottom, but team leaders and managers will benefit most from change management skills since they are responsible for guiding their teams through often-challenging circumstances.
Human resources (HR) managers are in particular need of this background, as HR departments are typically on the front lines of change management. For example, the same negotiation skills used in employee conflict resolution can assist managers in helping personnel accept uncomfortable changes without losing morale or their loyalty. And, since they are tasked with carrying out the HR strategy of matching human resources to business needs, these managers must be adept at the ever-changing balancing act required in an evolving organization.
Human resources managers are employed in nearly every industry, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics they make a median salary of $116,720 per year as of 2019. These jobs are expected to grow faster than average, in part due to the need for companies to successfully navigate the complex and unknown changes of the future.
Yes! Coursera offers a wide range of courses and Specializations in change management topics, including influencing and organizational analysis, from top-ranked schools such as Stanford University and Macquarie University. In fact, managing change is a key part of the curriculum for the Global Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offered by Macquarie.
With virtual office hours and group collaboration projects, learning on Coursera gives you the opportunity to practice both the soft skills and the digital literacy needed in change management today. And, regardless of the coming changes in the world, you’ll be able to complete your coursework remotely online at a lower tuition than on-campus alternatives without sacrificing the quality of your education.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have before starting to learn change management may include excellent organizational skills, computer literacy, a background and knowledge of how businesses operate, and a dose of analytical discipline. Your background might also include courses in psychology, business operations, and human resources fundamentals from either online courses or a college degree. When you learn about change management, you are getting the fundamentals of how to apply tools and techniques for orienting, performing, and evaluating change. This change could involve a cultural shift for a company or a move toward a digital transformation, with the change for a company coming to working in the cloud.
The kind of people best suited for work that involves change management are professionals who have team leadership experience, are strong, driven personalities, and can effectively influence change in organizations and departments by developing a mindset for change, in order to create a productive change cycle and lead a group or company into a profitable next phase of business. To excel in these areas, the people that are best suited to work in change management should likely also have excellent communication skills, capable analytical ability, and be good with presentation software and other computer tools.
You might get a sense that learning change management is right for you if you are the type of person who thrives on making changes in people’s lives, whether in personal work or in organizational work. Change management is a strategic method of applying transformation tactics and methods to existing ways in which a company operates. This involves topics like understanding business value, recognizing organizational culture, and evaluating business strategies and case analyses. If these are of high interest to you, then seeking work in the change management field might be a perfect fit for your career.
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