New to Change Management? (Part 4 - Not all moonshine and roses...)
We will keep this short - we don't want to discourage you, but we do need to tell you this as well:
It is far easier to spot change management failures than successes - when things go wrong, it is painfully obvious where change management did not do what it was supposed to. When intiatives don't live up to expectations it is also quite tempting for some role players to point a finger at change management as a scapegoat, even if this is not in any way warranted. But when we do a really brilliant job, we work primarily through others (leadership and project role players) and we facilitate the process in subtle ways. Good change management is by definition not overly visible change management. The transformation then seems almost effortless, and it is owned and driven by stakeholders - that's the whole point of what we do. So don't always expect loud and sustained applause for the good work you do (except maybe from your change management colleagues!).
The nature of change management work - if you do it well and with commitment - taps into inner reservoirs that can drain a lot more quickly than the rate at which life can fill them, unless you take care with this. It is possible to suffer from burnout if you don't take care of yourself. Some people may refer to change management as "pink and fluffy", but to be sure, it is not an occupation for sissies. You need to be emotionally robust and at the same time you need to remain open and sensitive to others.
And finally, there is the issue of working away from home. Of course this is not limited to change management, there are lots of other occupations that require this. But it can be very disruptive to "life as usual", and it is something to take note of. If you are very lucky, you may work for an organisation where all of your change management work can be done in a 9 to 5 workday and with a 15 minute daily commute. But many change managers have to deal with the reality that they have to go where the change projects and the stakeholders are, which may mean that you spend weekdays and nights away from home.