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The Accidental Change Manager


Dr Hafsa Ahmed MNZM
Futures Foresight Practitioner | Bespoke Business and Individual Impact Guide

Dear Business Leader

The only constant in life is change.” You’ve probably heard this Heraclitus quote numerous times, and it has become a cliché for businesses. In fact, change is so prevalent in the business world that you may have even appointed someone to manage it in your organization.

This person may be an “accidental change manager” – someone who may have just been the person you thought could deliver the change alongside executing other projects for your business. If you have appointed an “accidental change manager,” here are three things I want to say on their behalf, so they can deliver value for your business:

  • Stakeholder engagement: Managing change is often a web of interactions and navigating expectations across various stakeholders in an organisation and greater value can be created by enhancing stakeholder engagement. If the project has already started and you’ve just realised a managed change approach is needed, allow your change manager to create opportunities to engage and involve stakeholders, even if it may cause some delays – I call it the “few steps back to move faster forward.” This will foster buy-in, alignment, and support for the change initiatives to stay longer.
  • Dedicated change management support: Navigating stakeholder engagement is time-consuming, so if you want valuable engagement, give your change manager access to dedicated resources, i.e., a team that can offer ongoing support, expertise, and assistance to accidental change managers, enhancing their capabilities and confidence. This may also include access to change management training which will equip the team essential knowledge, skills, and tools required for effective change management.
  • Incorporate foresight planning: Create adaptive strategies for constant change impacting your business by anticipating trends that may affect your organisation and necessitate change. You change manager and their team should play a crucial role in this. As a futurist, I believe you can either let the future happen to you or create a preferred future. Why not choose the latter?

The role of the change manager is a challenging one, but with the right support and resources, your accidental change manager can become a valuable asset to your organisation.

By following the three recommendations outlined in this letter, you can help set them up for success and drive long-term organisational success.