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Are you in a Business Transformation Job or a Change Management Job?

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Certainly business transformation involves change management and vice versa but are they the same?

Typically the business transformation describes the big picture or vision that a company or institution aims to achieve. Examples would be for a retailer to move from bricks and mortar to on line sales or for a bank to close its investment banking operations to focus on retail customers.

Underneath the bonnet of business transformation programmes there will be a series of change management projects. One might say that business transformation is the “what will change” and Change Management is "how it will change". Examples of change management projects include software implementations, business process redesign (BPR), outsourcing of services, digital optimisation, finance reporting change, regulatory change and organisational change. These changes can be small and incremental and their sum can fundamentally transform a business.

Delving further under the bonnet it’s useful to compare the skill sets required for business transformation consultant jobs with change management consultant jobs. Senior jobs in business transformation tend to require strategy and thought leadership, high level stakeholder management and a track record in business transformation (or change). Senior jobs in change management invariably require strong stakeholder communications, some programme or project management experience as well as strong influencing and negotiating skills. Methodologies such as Agile, Prince 2 and Six Sigma apply in varying quantities depending on the business and sector.

In both business transformation job descriptions and change management job descriptions clients are usually after some specific business experience. The era of the pure, business area agnostic business transformation job or change management job hasn’t arrived (however much the consultancies try to convince you to the contrary!).

Most strikingly the language employed in both business transformation job descriptions and change management job descriptions contains a lot of overlap however the roles themselves contain subtle differences. Change management jobs fall within the remit of the business transformation jobs or to put it another way the sum of change management jobs enables the broader business transformation programme.