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Learning to Manage Organizational Change

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin

Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin is editor-in-chief for PM Solutions Research, and the author, co-author and editor of over twenty books on project management, including the 2007 PMI Literature Award winner, The AMA Handbook of Project Management, Second Edition.

Training as an aspect of organizational change: do your project managers have the capacity to absorb new learnings?

Over on the Stategy & Projects blog, our colleague Allen Young has been looking at Organizational Change Management from every angle. (To read the entire five-part series, click here.) Today, in his final post on the topic, something he said about assessing individuals' capacity for change hit a chord.

I had not previously thought of learning new skills as an aspect of organizational change, with the attendant potential for resistance. But Allen noted that, depending upon the stress level of the individual project manager, being required to learn a new process, software tool, or other new material associated with an organizational change could be not just unwelcome, but grounds for revolt. PMs who are already under the gun and putting in overtime just to keep up are unlikely to greet training as an opportunity. It's the organization's responsibility to manage change sensitively, enabling those who are impacted by a new program to view it as development, rather than as another onerous duty.

A great argument for assessing the organization's capacity to absorb change before implementing a training program!

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