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September 2022

Change is Everywhere: A Tool for Untangling and Simplifying Change

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Take a moment and count all the small (and large) changes that have occurred in your lifetime, in the last day, even the last hour. Have you lost count? Personally, in the last couple of months, I have become a wife, moved to a new ERP platform at work, got a new email address (crazy how big this can impact someone and the people around them!), downloaded a few new phone apps that changed my home screen, as well as countless other new circumstances that keep life interesting.

“The “PEOPLE” tool can be a go-to way to explain change management or introduce change concepts into the many areas where you encounter change in your daily life.”


As you can visualize with the changes I briefly mentioned, not all change is created equal and how we handle that change varies. That holds true in business as well – not all change is the same and, therefore, can be governed differently based on the circumstances. Change can scale on several different factors – below are a few examples:

Change Management Strategy or Basic Change Concepts?

Since not every change is the same, not every change requires the same level of intervention to gain adoption or behavior change. So, how do you know when you need to develop a full change management strategy and plan versus utilizing basic change concepts and tools? When answering this, here are a few helpful questions to consider:

  • How complex are the changes that people will need to understand?
  • How large is the change effort? Are there multiple goals that require changes happening at once?
  • How many other initiatives or changes are occurring simultaneously?
  • Will the change(s) and behavior be more a push or a pull to gain buy-in? Will this likely be viewed as a positive or negative experience?
  • How many individuals will be impacted by the change?
  • How aligned are leaders to the change that is taking place?

Based on your responses, if you find your change is large, complex, will encounter a lot of resistance or other factors that may warrant a true change plan, consider involving a professional change practitioner.

If the change doesn’t require a full change management strategy and plan, is there a simplified way to explain and leverage change management principles for these smaller, everyday changes? How can change practitioners help others easily adopt a change management mindset?

Introducing the PEOPLE Tool

CARA’s “PEOPLE” tool is intended just for that purpose – a tool to untangle the complicated change management methodologies and tools. If you consider each element of the “PEOPLE” framework, you can better manage change (even as a non-change practitioner).

  • P – Personnel: Who is impacted by the change both directly and indirectly?
  • E – Engagement and Communication: Who needs to be told “what” and when? How?
  • O – Organization Wide Impact: In what ways will things change for people? What are the behaviors and ways of working that need to adjust to ensure success?
  • P – Pulse Checks: How are we evaluating readiness and attitudes towards the change?
  • L- Leadership: Are leaders aligned to the change that is occurring and what it means for their employees?
  • E – Enablement into the Future: How are we upskilling and providing reinforcements to sustain the change(s)?

Using the “PEOPLE” Tool

In recent discussions I have had with clients, this tool has become incredibly useful in explaining the “how” behind change management without using jargon such as “stakeholder analysis” or “change impact assessments”. For example, organizations can use the tool to upskill their non-change employees as a first step in creating a culture of change and transformation.

The “PEOPLE” tool is not intended to be used as a replacement for seasoned change practitioners. Instead, it is a tool for those who want to incorporate change management principles into their everyday knowledge and routines and discuss change management in simplified terms.

Three practical uses include:

  • Upskilling non-change practitioners on change management techniques and ways of thinking
  • Incorporating an easy tool for leaders and managers in an organization to bring change in everyday thinking
  • “Selling Change” to the non-believer

Whether you are new to change management principles or have been using these concepts for years, it is clear that change is constant, and people need to be agile. With that, not all changes are equal and, therefore, do not need to be managed the same. The “PEOPLE” tool can be a go-to way to explain change management or introduce change concepts into the many areas where you encounter change in your daily life.

How do you address varying scales of change? How would you use this tool?

If you want to learn more about this tool, how to educate your organization in change principles, or how to assess where your change priorities scale, contact The CARA Group for more information at


Building Long Term Change Muscle in Your Organization Part 2, a Practical Guide

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In Part 1 of this blog topic, we introduced the strategic need for the development of Long Term OCM muscle in your organization. We told you that in Part 2 we would focus on the process to further define the specific skills your organization needs and introduce several approaches on how your organization can acquire and mature these skills.

There are three steps in this process:

Step 1 in this process of defining the specific skills needed is to determine which OCM activities are the most important for ensuring continuous and sustainable change. See the list (not exhaustive), and the grid below to facilitate a structured discussion among leadership. Note: While it won’t magically produce the answer, this grid should help to facilitate this structured discussion.

Step 2 identifies which activities might be best handled by external resources. Note: You might want to look back to Part 1 of the blog and revisit the more common roles and characteristics that best fit with external and internal resources.


STEPS 1 and 2

Click to expand image

Step 3. This last step provides you with several of the more common implementation methods and the variables that differentiate them. What models best develop and mature these OCM skills for your organization?

Model Description and impact to managing continuous change.
Participative: inc. job shadowing of OCM lead. Delivers speed of solution and is used early on in developing OCM maturity. Typically leverages an external resource to train an internal (future OCM leader) resource as part of their service offering
Stand-alone organization: Reporting to HR Internal OCM organization that is a part of the HR organization. Tying it to HR might increase the sophistication of the organization but not always its long-term effectiveness. Budget constraints from the business might limit its long-term continuous solutions. Requires management / business buy in.
Standalone organization: Reporting to business leadership Internal OCM organization that is a part of the business organization. Tying it to the business might create more effective / faster solutions but not necessarily the quality of sustainability required for continuous change. Might be limited by budget constraints. Will require OCM SME…possibly in a participative role.
Integrated: Skill development and formal Training of all managers and leaders. Slowest speed to solution but provides the greatest OCM maturity for delivering change on a continuous basis. Requires investment in infrastructure, internal sales organization, value appreciation mechanism, continuous QA of method and tools, and partnership with external SMEs.

The strategic need for building OCM muscle has never been greater in ensuring competitive advantage. A competitive advantage that includes the right combination of both internal and external resources. We hope you have found this blog post helpful in jump starting the process of getting the right “fit” for your organization. We’d love to show you how we can help you accelerate the acquisition of your organizations Long Term OCM muscle.