The difference between transformation and change management

19 April 2022 2 min. read

For any major business transformation to be successful, ensuring focus on change management is key. But in many project plans, the two terms are used interchangeably. Talal El-Assaad, the founder of ProClipse Consulting, explains why the two terms should not be mixed up – despite being inextricably linked to each other.

Often, business owners or project managers mix up the difference between change management and business transformation. This becomes a hurdle in their growth. To have a firm grip on the concepts, you need to understand what they are as well as their key synergies and differences.

While both terms might seem similar, they are in practice quite different. Business transformation is about preparing and adapting the organization for the new end-state. Adopting new business practices to align the present with the future.

Business Transformation versus Change Management

Change management can be regarded as a key success factor for business transformation – a collective term for all approaches and methods used to help an organization and its teams in accepting change.

For instance: An organization believes their product will no longer be sold in the future. The immediate course of action will be to ‘transform’ the product, not change it. However, if an organization highlights that its product did not perform well in the past, the course of action will be to ‘change’ their product concerning past research data.

Business transformation

The process of business transformation begins by comparing the present with the future and analyzing where your business stands and its survival chances. having identified new opportunities and risks, a business transformation plan helps organizations adjust to the changing external environment or demand in the market.

To be successful, business transformation requires foresight, strong decision-making skills, and change management to enable the transition’s objectives.

Change management

Change management allows organizations to be in a constant phase of evolution, removing barriers to change and keeping employees productive and motivated during the process of change.

A successful change management strategy requires effective communication between the management and employees, and an effective knowledge transfer approach so that employees can adopt to new ways of working.

Change management enables a solid and successful transformation by explaining why the change is necessary (‘the burning platform’). Helping employees re-skill is also a part of change management.