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Change Management Glossary 1 of 3 (1-D)

A comprehensive change management glossary that contains more than 240 terms providing clear and simple descriptions to boost your organisational change management knowledge. This glossary pertains to the Leadership of Change®. Please feel free to utilise our a2B Change Management Glossary below. If you find it useful, please consider buying our paperbacks and electronic books.

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4IR: See ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

3-Dimensional (3D) Printing: Is an additive manufacturing process that creates a precise physical object from a digital design with almost no waste. The process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid, metal, cement, powdered plastic, etc, and then fusing the layers together.

5 Stage of Realisation (5SoR): During organisational change (and even in life) there are fives stages of realisation: Denial - Delusion - Discovery - Delivery - Decline.

5S: The approach organises the workplace, keeps it neat and clean, establishes standardised conditions and maintains discipline to sustain the effort. The name comes from the five steps required to implement the process into the workplace. The words used describe each step: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain. This is sometimes referred to as 6S when Safety is included.

5 Whys: A lean technique that refers to the practice of asking, five times, why the failure has occurred in order to get to the root cause of the problem.

a2B5R® Model: Our systematic model to change employee behaviour and promote change adoption. The model has five life cycle steps: Recognise, Redesign, Resolve, Replicate and Reinforce.

a2B Change Management Framework®: Our a2B Change Management Framework® (a2BCMF®) is a structured and disciplined approach to support organisations, leadership teams and individuals going through a change, the transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state. It has ten key steps but iterations between the steps are usually necessary and some can be worked in parallel.

a2BCMF® Model: See ‘a2B Change Management Framework®’.

a2BDNS© Developing the New Skills Model: Our six-step process for developing the new skills and behaviours so employees are prepared for the new way of working. The model has six process steps: Define, Identify, Evaluate, Assess, Deliver Coach and Appraise.


a2BDNS© Model: See ‘a2B Developing the New Skills Model’.

Actionee(s): Person(s) responsible for carrying out an action within the change programme or project.

Age of the Employee: People attitude to work change during covid and this process started with the millenniums who carefully select which organisation they want to work for. Employees want to feel included, valued, engage and this means organisations and their leaders will have to have strategy and service offerings that ensure the wellbeing of their employees. This becomes more important during organisational change and transformation.

Agile: A project management approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the lifecycle. Agile development proceeds as a series of sprints (iterations), with the aim of making incremental improvements in each sprint.

Agility: An organisations ability to rapidly respond to changes in internal and external environments without losing momentum and keeping up with the competition.

Adoption: Change adoption is the way that the organisation and employees make the transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state, leaving the old ways behind and adopting the new way of working and behaving. It is confirmation that they have fully accepted the change, both in mind and in heart. It is agreement that the new way of working is more efficient and benefits both the organisation and customers and is part of the organisation’s future DNA.

Advocates: One of three employee change standpoints during change implementation. ‘Advocates’ are similar to the change agents with their positivity towards change. Their energy should be harnessed as they can play an effective role in leading and implementing the change.


Alternative Solutions: Assessing other possible courses of action and solutions during the discussion and creation of the business case. Are there alternatives to this change programme?


AMI® Change Leadership Model: This model outlines the three critical leadership responsibilities to implement change: Articulate the vision, Model the new way and Intervene to ensure sustainable change.

Articulate: The first element of a leader’s role in organisational change. Leaders are expected to ‘Articulate’ the organisation’s change vision.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The ability of a computer, machine or a robot to do tasks that are usually done by humans. These tasks emulate natural intelligence such as learning, problem-solving, natural language processing, reasoning, decision-making capabilities, etc.

Assessment: A systematic and proactive evaluation process of designing, collecting and analysing data and information to determine the history, current, future perceived performance.

AUILM® Employee Change Adoption Model: Our model outlines the five key life cycle stages the employee goes through in the change transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state. AUILM® is an acronym that represents: Awareness, Understanding, Involvement, Learning and Motivation.


Autonomous Vehicles: A driverless vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving safely from a starting point to a predetermined destination in autopilot with little or no human inputs.

Backfire: The tendency of some leaders and employees to resist accepting evidence that conflicts with their beliefs. It causes people to strengthen their support for their original stance.


Bad Business: A change project or programme within an organisation that does not have leadership alignment, sponsorship or capacity in order for it to be successful.

Balanced Scorecard (BSC): An integrated set of measures built around the organisation’s mission, vision and strategy. Measures address the financial, customer, internal business process and learning and growth perspectives. They provide a balanced view on what is required to enact the strategy and can be used to measure the change programme.

Barrier: An impediment to successful change. These are challenges to overcome when planning, executing and sustaining change programmes. Examples might include individuals actively or passively resisting change or anything that has the potential to stop or weaken the change effort.

Baseline: The reference level against which a project, programme or portfolio is monitored and controlled.

Behaviour: The way in which employees respond to specific circumstances or situations within the workplace environment. While many elements determine an individual’s behaviour in the workplace, employees are shaped by their culture and by the organisation’s culture.

Behaviour Change Assessment (BCA): Coming soon.

Behaviour Training: The training that develops the few new employee and organisation behaviours required to support change adoption. It involves defining the few critical behaviours, designing and delivering the training, and leaders modelling the new behaviours. It is supported by our a2B5R® Model to embed the new behaviours.

Benefit: The quantifiable and measurable improvement, resulting from completion of the change or deliverables that is perceived as positive by an organisation. It will normally have a tangible value and be expressed in monetary terms that will justify the investment. The quantitative and qualitative, measurable and non-measurable outcomes resulting from a change.

Benefits Plan and Tracker (BPT): The identification, definition, planning, tracking and realisation of business benefits as defined in the a2BCMF® Step 1 - Change Definition.

Benefits Realisation: The actual achievement of the change benefits which are usually delivered through the Execute and Sustain phase. This is usually the reason why most organisations undertake a change programme and is the way an organisation achieves a ROI. It will normally include a tangible value expressed in monetary terms that will justify the investment.


Board of Directors (BoD): Is usually an elected group of individuals that represent their members, shareholders, agency, etc. They meet regularly to provide oversight, strategic direction, protecting shareholder or member interests, intervening when necessary, helping to manage performance against targets, monitoring delivery against the business or operating plan, approving budgets, enhancing the organisation’s performance and reputation, etc. 

Budget: The sum of money allocated to the change programme. The term may also refer to revenue and expenses.

Business Case: Developed to assess the change programme’s balance between costs and benefits. The business case provides business reasons for starting the change programme.

Business Operations: See ‘Normal Day-to-Day Operations’.

Business Plan: A document that summarises the operational and financial objectives of an organisation and contains the detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be realised.

Business Process: A system of activities by which a business creates a specific result for its customers. There are the foundation of how the organisation operates and along with employees and systems they play a significant role in organisations.

Business Transformation: Involves making fundamental changes in how an organisation functions and operates. The business drivers for transformation could be changing customer buying habits, new technology trends, entity into new markets, external environmental changes, globalisation, the need to be more efficient, superior competition performance, etc. Transformation impacts processes, systems, employees, and the leadership team. Change management will be a critical success enabler, supported by effective and proactive change leadership.

Change: The transition from the current state ‘a’ to the future state ‘B’.

Change Adoption: Change adoption refers to the process by which employees and organisations embrace and integrate the new way of working (new technology, processes, or behaviours) brought about by a targeted intervention such as change, transformation, behaviour change, improvement initiate, etc. It encompasses the acceptance, understanding, and utilisation of the new way of working to achieve the desired outcomes and objectives. Fundamental to an organisation maximising adoption is the alignment of employees, processes, systems, and leadership (EPSL). Not fully focusing on all four EPSL elements will limit success, employee adoption, sustainability, and the organisation's return on investment (ROI), limiting potential organisation performance. See 'AUILM® Employee Change Adoption Model'.

Change Adoption Assessment (CAA): Coming soon.

Change Agent: The individuals or groups whose task it is to effect change. They can be any member of an organisation or an external consultant involved in facilitating, supporting, influencing or implementing change. They might not be called ‘change agents’ as their official job title may not recognise or formalise their responsibility.

Change Blindness: A condition, where people cling onto an old belief without considering the future or better options.

Change Capable Organisation: An organisation with developed change capability to constantly manage change successfully, maximising employee adoption and delivering sustainable benefits. A key benefit of change capability is to implement change and improvement to stay ahead of the competition. Typical elements include; competent change professionals, leaders of change, sponsors, a change management framework, an employee change adoption model, an employee behaviour change model, training, toolkits, change processes, templates, assessments, etc.

Change Capacity: The overall capacity of an organisation to either effectively prepare for, or respond to, an increasingly unpredictable planned change.

Change Communication Plan (CCP): The plan that depicts key communications, channels and the timing of these messages or events.

Change Control: Unlike the process of organisational change management, this process is about modifications to documents, deliverables, or baselines. It ensures that modifications associated with the project are identified, documented, approved, or rejected. Change control is a major aspect of the broader discipline of change management.

Change Disruption: Irreversible change that affects nearly every organisation as a result of living during the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). A period of disruption while the new change takes effect.

Change Fatigue: A general sense of apathy or passive resignation towards continual organisational changes by individuals, teams or leaders.

Change Freeze: The point at which scope changes to a programme are no longer permissible.

Change History Assessment© (CHA©): This can be used to assess and review the outcomes of earlier change programmes and initiatives. It provides organisational insights that may increase the likelihood of successful implementation through the analysis of lessons learned, mitigation of previous weaknesses and enhancement of future success.

Change Impact: How employees, processes, systems and the organisation are affected during the transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state.

Change Initiative: The name given to an organisational change programme or improvement project.

Change Leadership: Is about being a proactive growth mindset employee who has the knowledge, skills and ability to successfully transition an organisation from the current state ‘a’ to the future ‘B’ state, ensuring adoption and benefits realisation. This transition involves planning the change, executing the change so that the organisation and its employees sustain the change or transformation. The change leader has three key responsibilities that should be performed effectively and proactively for the successful leadership of change, they are ‘Articulate’, ‘Model’ and ‘Intervene’.


Change Leadership Glue© (CLG©): Refers to three critical foundational elements of effective and proactive change leadership, sponsorship, and a structured change implementation framework required to implement successful organisational change. When these three foundational elements work in unison, they serve as the adhesive binding for planning, executing, and sustaining successful organisational change. As a result, employee adoption can be maximised, the change will be sustainable, the return on investment (ROI) will be achieved, and full benefits will be realised. The end result is a transformed and higher-performing organisation.


Change Leadership Standpoints: Leadership involvement in organisational change or transformation can be measured on a spectrum from energised and passionate involvement through to abdication. Three typical standpoints are​ (1) Effective and Proactive (see Change Leadership), (2) Indifferent Delegator:, (3) Silo Focused.

Change Management: A field of management focused on organisational change which is the practice of applying a structured approach to transition an organisation from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state to achieve change adoption and the expected benefits.

Change Management Charade©: Organisational change management implementation where the leaders of the organisation and the change team are involved in an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance of change. The leaders continue to focus on normal day-to-day operations devoid of change leadership responsibilities and are permitted to do so by the change team or consultants deluding themselves that they can implement successful change while the leaders control critical resources and agenda time. 

Change Management Definition: As per the Leadership of Change® - Change management is the process, techniques and tools to support organisations, leadership teams and employees going through a change transition from the current ‘a’ state to the improved future ‘B’ state. It minimises organisation disruption, and maximises both employee adoption and benefits.

Change Management Framework: See ‘a2B Change Management Framework’.


Change Management Gamification: Change management gamification is an interactive and dynamic way for employees to learn change management skills and knowledge using game characteristics. Gamification can be used by employees to learn, test and prepare for organisational change. 

Change Management Handbook: A book containing instructions or advice about how to do something, or the most important and useful information about a subject. A reference book, in this case, practical change management implementation. This handbook contains the ten-step a2B Change Management

Change Management Implementation Spectrum©: The Leadership of Change® has defined three typical organisational change implementation approaches; (a) general employee support, (b) employee adoption (c) leadership and implementation. Change professionals tend to have a single preference to where they focus and operate.

Change Management Insanity©: Refers to the misguided tendency of organisations and their leaders to repeat the same unsuccessful approaches to change, expecting different results each time. The leadership team will continue to focus on normal day-to-day operations and delegate change implementation to an external consultant or internal resources. The leadership teams do not align or rank the change initiative with other strategic business priorities and do not share critical organisational resources or agenda time with the change team. As a result, successful and sustainable transformation becomes elusive, leading to a cycle of repeated failures in managing change effectively.

Change Management Maverick: A person who has a different approach to mainstream organisational change management implementation. They stress that successful sustainable change requires a strong sponsor, effective and proactive leaders with implementation supported by a change management framework.

Change Management Pocket Guide: Typically, a small paperback that can be carried in the pocket which provides help on change management. The pocket guide contains the ten-step a2B Change Management Framework® (a2BCMF®) and is supported by over thirty concepts, models, figures, assessments, tools, templates, checklists and plans, as well as a roadmap and glossary.

Change Model: Models to describe and simplify a principle or define a process to develop a change deliverable.

Change Readiness Assessment (CRA): An assessment to establish if the employee and organisation are ready for change implementation. It can also gauge whether resistance will be high or low.

Change Risk: An event or condition that, if it occurs, may have an effect on change adoption and benefits realisation.

Change Saturation: When the amount of change occurring in an organisation is more than can be effectively handled by those affected by the change.

Change Sponsor Assessment© (CSA©): An assessment used to assess if the sponsor is performing their duties and if they are committed to the success of the change programme. The assessment should be transparent and focus on how the sponsor is performing their role with regards to ‘Say’, ‘Support’ and ‘Sustain’ activities.

Change Strategy: It defines the why, what, when, where, how and who will execute the organisation’s change. It will provide the facts and information which should help the stakeholder understand the business reasons for the change and reduce resistance of the impacted stakeholders.

Change Strategy Execution (CSE): Refers to the process of effectively and proactively implementing and managing change initiatives successfully within an organisation to achieve strategic goals. It involves the alignment of employees, processes, systems, directed by the leadership (EPSL) and supported by the change team and its change sponsor. The success outcome of CSE maximises employee adoption, making the change sustainable, ensuring the targeted return on investment (ROI), full benefits realisation, and resulting in a higher-performing organisation.

Change Vision: The description of the future state ‘B’. It describes how the organisation will look after the change is successfully implemented in the time limit specified.

Charter: See ‘Programme Charter’ and ‘Project Charter’.

Checklist: A quality control technique. This may include a set of important elements that the change practitioner uses for requirement verification and validation of key change programme activities.

Coaching: A process that enables learning and development to occur and therefore performance to improve. The role of a coach is to give the employee feedback on observed performance.


Comfortable Change Inaction: Is the state where the immediate implication of not doing something is not visible, but in a longer run, it takes a toll.

Communication Channels: The routes used to send messages, such as social media, emails, verbal presentations, reports, etc.

Competency: The organisation or individual collection of knowledge, skills, behaviours, and other characteristics and abilities to perform the role. Definitions of competencies tend to be broader than just skills.

Competency Dictionary: A tool or data structure that includes all or most of the general competencies needed to cover all job families and competencies that are core or common to all jobs within an organisation.

Competency Framework: Defines the knowledge, skills, and attributes needed for employees within an organisation. Each role will have its own set of competencies needed to perform the job effectively.

Continuous and Never-Ending Improvement (CANI): The name given to the process of always needing to improve. It is associated with growth mindset people.

Continuous Improvement (CI): The never-ending improvement of products, services or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements. The goal is to increase effectiveness by reducing inefficiencies, frustrations, and waste (rework, time, effort, material, etc.).

Continuous Never Ending Change and Improvement© (CNECI): The believe that life is all about 'Continuous Never Ending Change and Improvement' as we grow, develop and regenerate.


Core Competence: An organisation’s unique capability that would be greatly appreciated by customers and would be difficult for competitors to quickly duplicate.

Cost Overrun: This occurs when unexpected costs cause a change programme’s actual cost to go beyond budget.

Critical Success Factor (CSF): A management term for an element that is necessary for an organisation or change programme to achieve its mission.

Culture: A system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs, which govern how people behave. These shared values have a strong influence on the employees in the organisation and dictate how they behave, act and perform their jobs.

Current State: The condition at the time the change is initiated, defined as the current ‘a’ state. The current state of the organisation’s business processes, systems and employees before the change is implemented. It is often used as a baseline before the organisation moves to the future ‘B’ state.

Data: Numbers in an electronic form (usually computer) that can be collected, stored and examined and converted into information that can be used to help decision-making. 

Day-in-Life-of (DILO): The DILO study provides insights into the employee’s daily operational activities, highlighting tasks that add value in day-to-day work and those that do not.

Deluded Leaders: Leaders who prevent true change programme implementation because they believe (for various reasons) they are more important than the change.

Dependencies: In the project change plan, dependencies are the relationships between preceding tasks. Tasks may have multiple sub-tasks and multiple succeeding sub-tasks.

Device: A computer, tool, object or machine that has been invented for a particular purpose in business (see system).

Digital Transformation: The application of technology, digital tools, and platforms across business functions in order to improve business activity effectiveness and efficiency. These should be approved strategy programmes and projects aligned with the organisation’s strategy aimed at improving customer value (improving cost, quality, and schedule), service, and improved business performance. People, processes, and systems will be impacted, thus change management will be a critical success enabler, supported by effective and proactive change leadership.

Directly, Exclude, and Isolate (DE&I): Directly exclude and isolate (DE&I). An adversarial approach that some change practitioners and leaders employ, either intentionally or unwittingly, directly dictates new policies to staff without inclusion, excludes divergent perspectives from consideration, and isolates others through one-way communication. This approach is sometimes observed in people who strongly advocate a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) policy but lack self-awareness.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I): Three closely linked values held by many organisations that are working to be supportive of ALL different groups of individuals, including employees of different races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. A DE&I environment can be a great foundation for successful change implementation.

Due Diligence: One of the first steps in achieving the change programme’s goals by systematically assessing the viability of the change initiative. It is effectively a risk management process designed to enable a decision on whether the change should proceed. It assesses risks, benefits, costs and impacts, providing a go/no go decision on whether the project should proceed.

If you find it useful, please consider buying our paperbacks and electronic books.

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Leadership of Change®

Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK)

Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D & E

Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK), Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge, Peter F Gallagher, Change Management Books, Leadership of Change Volumes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A B C D E, Change Management Fables, Change Management Pocket Guide, Change Management Handbook, Change Management Gamification, Change Management Adoption, Change Management Behaviour, Change Management Leadership, Change Management Sponsorship
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