Change Management vs Change Leadership

Change Management maps out the project of change, defining the related tasks, timeline, and resources required for change to be successful. Change management creates a roadmap for going forward that makes possible a shared understanding and the resulting coordination of activity required to achieve the desired future state.

Change Leadership, by contrast, is the art and skill of navigating the real experience of change, sometimes adhering to the roadmap or knowing when to deviate, in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. These outcomes may either fall short of the expectations set by the roadmap, or exceed them – this is real life.

Change Management and Change Leadership are like Yin and Yang: each requires the other to achieve its potential and there is an element of each within the other, making it whole.  They cannot be wrestled apart and stand independent. Rather they are interdependent, depending upon and influencing each other simultaneously.

– Seth Kahan helps leaders improve performance. His book, Getting Change Right, will be published in May of this year.

2 Responses to “Change Management vs Change Leadership”

  1. Change Management vs Change Leadership is a question of how big (steep/fast) the change is. In the ends “it depdends” remains a solid answer for any occassion 🙂

  2. I’ve often described the difference to my clients as ‘Change management is what & how it gets done. Change Leadership is Why’ but the key aspect of change leadership is an understanding of the emotion of change and the impact of people involved in it, because Change leadership is about hearts and minds. Change Management is about about plans and processes.

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