You’re ‘Voluntold’ to Help Lead Change Management – Now What Do You Do?

January 26, 2022

Have you suddenly been assigned to a change management project? Do you feel uncertain and out of your element? You may be a "Voluntold." But don't panic, you're not alone. Many professionals have the weight of change management responsibilities unexpectedly put on their shoulders. Whether it's training, communications, logistics, or other responsibilities - ChangeSync can help!

You're busy doing your job, nose to the grindstone, and suddenly you're hit with the added responsibility of leading a new project or initiative on top of your regular job.

Surprise! You’re a Voluntold.

A quick Google search defines being voluntold as: “The exact opposite of volunteering. Always used in reference to an unpleasant task to which you have been assigned by your boss.”

It’s hard to be a voluntold and, in change management, it can be particularly daunting. I’ve been there. In my early change management career, I was voluntold to lead change management communications, readiness activities, and training for a new software implementation for my organization.

At first, it was incredibly stressful. The weight of change success (or failure) was suddenly on my shoulders, and I wasn’t familiar with change management practices or methodologies. Plus, I had my regular responsibilities AND needed to fit change management into the mix.

Here's the thing: mid-level managers and employees tasked with leadership roles in change projects contribute significantly to change success. In their article, The Hard Side of Change Management, the Harvard Business Review identifies employee commitment and level of effort (in addition to normal responsibilities) as critical factors in change success.

When saying “no” isn’t an option, how can you balance the level of effort and position yourself for success? For better or worse, you are leading a change project – how can you make the experience as seamless as possible?

Change success starts with making sure you’ve got the right tools and resources.

First, identify who will be involved in the change effort. Change management isn’t something that you can do in your spare time or in a vacuum. You’ll need a network of people across your business – change team members, executive sponsors, stakeholders, and change champions to name a few.

Next, pull together the tools your change team will need to track and manage all the elements, materials, and people involved in your project. This is particularly important if you anticipate budget, resource, or time constraints.

At ChangeSync, we’re committed to making change success achievable for everyone – not just change professionals. Our system is industry and methodology agnostic. We’ve incorporated the essentials of change management practices into our software, while leaving enough flexibility and customization to meet the unique needs of any project or initiative.

If you’re a voluntold with questions about getting started and what you’ll need, let’s chat. We’ll get you on the right track with our Roadmap to Change Success, templates, guides, change management advisory and consulting services, and more.

Don’t panic – you've got this, and we've got you!

Author: Eddi Trevizo, Chief Experience Officer at ChangeSync