Change Decision Making Concept

Publishers are dealing with extraordinary challenges as they try to shift content business strategies while reshaping the inner behaviors and DNA of their operations to support new goals. Refreshing one’s thinking about change management and how it can best support these shifts is a critical component to finding success in new ventures.

Change management is often the last component considered when launching new initiatives, and many are turned off by the mere mention of the term—partly because it’s bantered about without a common understanding or agreement on what it means to a given organization.

But it can provide the best benefit if it is the foundation around which all changes are implemented, and it remains the undercurrent to everything that’s done.

To help your organization better incorporate change management into content processes, here are five steps to consider:

  1. Discuss, understand, and agree to what your common cultural obstacles or undercurrents are. Get the elephant in the room out on the table.
  2. Evaluate your current communication methods, determine what works and what doesn’t, and identify gaps where things could be better communicated. Think about communication approaches outside of your organization that are good examples of fresh thinking that could work.
  3. Solicit input from HR. We find that often there are untapped resources in HR just itching to help out with change management and assist with approaches.
  4. Decide what program or approach is manageable, and document it. Writing it down builds commitment and consensus, and it holds everyone’s feet to the fire to give it a go.
  5. Account for individual needs. There may be a few people in your organization who need special handling, such as the squeaky wheels or those who are intimidated by change. But they could be your biggest supporters if you can help them address their hurdles. This is where change management can do its best work.

Change management is about consciously escorting people, cultures, practices, habits, process, and communication over a bridge to a new environment, and helping all of these components acclimate with guidance, hand-holding, and support. Just as important, it’s about providing structure, discipline, and enforcement to keep everything on a positive track.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.