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The History and Future of Change Management

Over the past quarter of a century, change management has emerged, evolved and grown from foundational understandings to conceptual underpinnings and on to a recognized discipline. Prosci’s research and experience suggest that in the coming years the focus will shift toward advancement along three fronts:

  1. Increased collaboration of change disciplines
  2. Enhanced organizational maturity development
  3. Individual professional development

Brief History of Change Management

Four distinct eras mark the evolution and growth of the change management discipline:

  1. Pre-1990s: Foundations
    Academics begin to understand how humans and human systems experience change
  2. 1990s: On the radar
    Change management enters the business vernacular
  3. 2000s: Formalization
    Additional structure and rigor codify change management as a discipline
  4. Going forward
    Individual professional development and enhanced growth of organizational maturity emerge


Pre-1990: Foundations

The first era of change management was the period before 1990. During this period, the focus was on improving our collective understanding of human beings, how we experience change and how our human systems interact and react. This era provided crucial insights, research and frameworks for understanding successful change. Some of the primary contributors during this time include ……[Read More]