Ask 100 people to define Change Management, and you'll get 100 different definitions. At the end of the day, the definition is just semantics. What really matters is whether you can implement a Change Management program in a practical way that allows you to support your organization in successfully achieving its goals. Whether you're a Change Manager, a consultant, or the tech. guy who was told to "figure out some Change Management stuff," this blog will help address common issues and topics you're likely to run into along the way.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Keep it Simple: The Art of Making Difficult Concepts Easy to Understand

Recently, I heard of a web-based tool called The Up-Goer Five Text Editor.  It is designed to help you turn difficult concepts into easy-to-understand language.  Basically, you type a sentence into the editor, and the tool compares each word to its list of the one thousand most used words in the English language.  Any word that is not on the list is underlined in red.  It's then up to you to find a substitute word.

It sounds easy.

It is very, very hard.

I decided to try it out on Change Management.  I started by using the definition of Change Management, as defined by ProSci on their website.  It reads:
Change management is the application of a structured process and tools to enable individuals or groups to transition from a current state to a future state, such that a desired outcome is achieved.
There are 33 words in that definition.  Thirteen of them did not make the cut.  That meant I had to find a way to change 42% of the words in order to meet the tool's criteria, without substantially changing the definition.  This was going to be especially difficult given that the word "management" isn't on the list.

The definition I came up with is below.  Before you read it, though, I challenge you to go to the site and try to come up with your own version of the definition.

My Definition
Try as I might, I just couldn't get rid of the word "tools."  That said, here is the revised definition I created:
The business of the Change team is to use a carefully considered set of steps and tools to help people or groups to change from the present state to a new state, such that a wanted end state is realized.
Let me know:  Did you use the tool to create your own version of the definition?  Share it by posting it in the comments section.

My attempt at using The Up-Goer Five Text Editor to simplify the definition of Change Management.

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