4 key Change Management trends to look out for in 2021

Posted by David Miller

Now that 2020 has drawn to a close, we take our annual look at some of the trends we see shaping Change Management in the coming year.

Last year was one of the most challenging years in recent memory for the majority of people. Both socially and from a work perspective. So how does that impact us in our role as Change Management practitioners?

We see 3 key Change Management trends that will shape how change gets delivered as follows:

Change Management Trends


1. The need for more engagement in a more socially distanced working environment

One of the key challenges that the COVID pandemic has thrown up is the need for an increased level of organizational engagement with employees - at a time when many people are isolated and working remotely.

A great many businesses successfully pivoted overnight to meet the challenge. Digital transformation plans that were 3 years out were quickly brought forward and hastily implemented in days sometimes. Not weeks and months. To keep the wheels simply turning.

Going forward these hasty implementations that have proved effective in riding out the initial storm will continue to be fine-tuned to meet the changed needs of an increasingly remote workforce. In particular, there is a more urgent need than ever for virtual interfaces that support engagement and collaborative working.

And Change Management isn’t immune to this and is going to have to change the way it gets things done. According to Forbes, the US wastes $2 trillion on change initiatives each year because leaders choose to change by decree. Rather than properly engaging people in the change process.

The need to digitally engage people as a direct response to the impact of COVID is going to playout out in the Change Management space. Disruption or no disruption, organizations still need people to drive business forward. Including driving Change initiatives. And to do that Change Management teams are going to have to leverage digital platforms that enable them to digitalize their processes from change planning, to collaboration and measurement.

2. Need to create and support a more resilient workforce

In this new environment resilience is going to be key.

To be effective people are going to be more flexible. Do more with less. Work very differently. Respond to work schedules highly likely to be subject to more disruption. And at the same time, they have to work as effectively as they did before. Delivering productively and to the high quality standards that is demanded of them.

So, resilience matters. Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen talks about the critical role that Leadership plays in fostering an engaged and resilient workforce that is connected and engaged with the work they do.


People Centred DataEbookForWebsitePanelsTP


How resilient are you and your teams going to be in 2021?

If you are not sure take a look at our Personal Adaptability Inventory tool (show on the right) which will enable you to make an initial assessment on this.




3. Real-time data will continue to be a key asset in Change Management

We have spoken about the data trend before. But it continues to be important and evolve.

Data will continue as a key asset. But changes in working patterns will change the way that it is accessed and used to create business value.

So, it needs to be accessible from anywhere. Available in real-time. And the security and protection and cloud-based access to data all become critical issues for your remote teams working to deliver Change projects in a much-changed environment.   

It’s increased and transparent access to these type of analytics, benchmarks and comparative Change Management insights that will drive up value in new organizational models.


An increasing need to support location-independent target operating models

Wherever all of this ends up, one thing is for sure. All of this will combine to create new ways of working, with changes in culture needed. In new, location-independent operating models.

For Change Management this means more Change to manage. Not less.

Everything really is going digital. And Change Management isn’t going to be any different. To be successful, Change Management teams are going to have to increasingly leverage dedicated Cloud based digital platforms to plan and deliver successfully for stakeholders.

The team at Changefirst would like to wish you all the very best in your Change Management endeavors in 2021.


Tags: change management, Change Management, Change Management methodology, Change Management Tool, change projects, organizational change, change management toolkit, Change management risk assessment

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