Change Skills vs Change Tools: What's the Difference?

career change change leadership change management confidence skills tools Mar 08, 2022
Lata in purple jumper making victory sign, text: change skills vs change tools

One of the top 6 trends in Change I've identified for 2022 is "Skills not Tools". What does this mean? And are Change tools and templates ever still useful?


The world of Change is changing. Some twenty years ago when Lata was just a wee teenager, Change Management emerged into the corporate space (or so I've been told - I was busy playing handball in the quad).


It was heralded as the answer to all our project problems, and comfort was taken in the detailed documentation, spreadsheets, charts, slide packs, and checklists. There was a methodology, a required process to follow, and a raft of tools and templates to support that step-by-step approach. 


And it worked. For a while. 

Projects hired Changies. 

Changies filled out templates and presented them proudly to the projects and business.

Everyone oohed and aahed over the pretty tables and diagrams and the stakeholder sign offs before moving to the next step.

That's how I learned Change... and I supported one program end-to-end through 3 phases, ticking all the boxes of Change materials.





Because almost every project since has been rife with poor planning, complex challenges, crazy unrealistic deadlines, resource constraints, or sometimes haven't even been set up as a project ... at all! 


I'm not trying to diss any organisation, project or team I've worked with. I truly have enjoyed and am grateful for every project experience I've ever had the pleasure of supporting.


Because to me it shows more about the nature of projects and transformations today, and the trends of the future. I was simply lulled into a false sense of security on that first project! And I'm definitely now more seasoned and a lot savvier.


Because following that bouncing-ball methodology and completing all those tools and templates DOES work for really well-planned, well-resourced, well-funded, flexible in approach, and open to ideas environments. We're just not seeing a lot of these anymore. Our workplaces and world are becoming increasingly uncertain and complex and have been for years, even before COVID.



So what I've noticed is that the value from Change comes not from the tools and the templates filled out in the quest for a well-managed change.


It comes from:

  • the conversations;
  • the connections;
  • the dependencies;
  • the risks mitigated;
  • the hearts and minds switched on;
  • the embedding of ways of working, culture, and purpose;
  • and the paving of the way of future changes. 


These aren't management skills. These are leadership skills.  And the tools and templates won't help you build, use or share these... but by building, using and sharing them, you can fill your tools and templates with the information that matters most and creates real value for your project, leaders and teams. 


Change skills are the vehicle.

Change tools are the milestones. 

Change success is the destination.


Yes - we still need Change tools and templates - absolutely.


We need impact assessments, change readiness assessments, stakeholder metrics, communication plans, change plans and every other tool and template we traditionally use in Change. But when and how we use these is transforming, and that's what I'll be covering in my upcoming free Change Tools Masterclass. 



The Masterclass is designed to not only step you through the key tools and templates used in Change, but also demonstrate how to complete them by using Change skills in a confident and empowered way. 


The Masterclass is awesome and registrations are filling up.


Secure your free spot on the Masterclass today - click here


Lata xx

Free Coaching Action Guide :  Underpaid & Overlooked

If you're thinking about a pay rise, promotion or full career change, download my free "Underpaid & Overlooked Coaching Action Guide" now to change with confidence and earn your worth.

By completing this form, you'll join my mailing list for info and marketing and can unsubscribe at any time.