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What is a Change Management Specialist?

Jacob Queen
Jacob Queen

A change management specialist is someone who is in charge of planning the changes in a company. Rather than focusing on what changes need to be made, they focus on how to execute those changes in a smooth way that doesn’t seriously disrupt the organization. Some of the main focuses of a change management specialist include personnel changes and dealing with the difficulties that come when implementing something new. Once the changes are made, the change management specialist usually has the job of monitoring those changes and helping to deal with any problems that may appear.

Individuals in this position may have significant power in some ways, but they aren’t generally in charge of that many employees. Change managers are almost like advisers to other managers who are directly in charge of different aspects of a business, and the change managers don’t usually have any actual power over those managers. For example, a manager may come to the change management specialist and ask what the best way is for cutting the budget of a particular department, and the specialist will generally develop an appropriate strategy. Carrying out that strategy will then usually fall to one or more managers that work directly with the department in question, and the change manager will often be on the sidelines, offering suggestions when necessary.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

One of the main difficulties when making changes for a company is the resistance of employees. Any time something is being changed significantly, people will often have a hard time adjusting, and they may become frustrated. Change managers are generally expected to have a strong ability to anticipate these kinds of problems and have solutions ready. Change managers will also often take special care to develop their plans in a way that avoids as much resistance as possible. This ability can be especially important if the change in question will involve some kind of layoff, partly because any time people are losing their jobs, they may have a tendency to become distrustful or angry.

If someone wants to get a job in this field, he or she will generally require a human resources-related degree. Sometimes a significant level of experience in some kind of human resources field may also be necessary. For some positions, it may be mandatory to climb the ranks in a company, although it could potentially be easier to start in this position if the person had previous experience in the same position at another firm.

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