Change Leadership vs Change Management

It is important to differentiate between change management (the tools, processes and techniques used to help people progress through change), and change leadership (the style, attributes, values and behaviours of the person creating the momentum). The two processes are vital to implementing a change strategy, but confusing the two terms can lead to problems.

Change Leadership:

  • The individual or individuals who ‘own the change;
  • The style and disposition of the individual(s);
  • The credibility and influence of the person owning the change;
  • Emotional and social intelligence;
  • Mindset not position – anyone can lead a change, it does not require hierarchy;
  • Focus, and clarity of thought.

Change Management:

  • An agreed process or method by which to manage change;
  • Is about involvement, and overcoming resistance;
  • It often has a ‘hierarchical play’ in effect;
  • Removing resistance and getting to the new state ASAP;
  • People and process; and
  • Implementation rather than installation.

Clearly, change leadership describes influencing and focusing on the change, whereas change management describes the processes for how the change can be achieved. If change leadership does not exist employees may not support or understand the vision of the strategy and without change management the processes for achieving, it may not be in place.