The profession of  a change manager is in high demand. However, the traditional skillset of a successful change management professional is starting to change and solely managing change will soon not be enough. Making change beautiful, is what it’s all about.

Due to the constantly changing nature of our world, and our human need to manage the chaos – at least in our professional environment – the profession of a change manager is in high demand.

What does it take to be a change manager?

These experts provide a structured approach for complex transformations. They engage stakeholders and manage information and its consumption. This can significantly improve stakeholder buy-in and ensure a successful transformation. Change management professionals must therefore be equipped with a wide array of skills like active listening, intercultural communication, analytical thinking, or data analysis. But in recent years, the skill line-up is gradually expanding to include various design and visualization related skills, which are becoming increasingly important. But why is that?

The benefits of making changes visible

Human brains are equipped with three different ways to process information. These include visual information processing, aurally based processing, and kinesthetic processing. Every person has their own mix of information processing styles. But visual information processing still makes out at least 40% of this mix. Understanding these different styles is also very important for the design of learning courses and e-learning content. We simply retain information better if we not only hear it, but also see it and apply it ourselves. As for the visual consumption, it also matters what we actually see.

Humans can absorb an incredible number of images in a short time – about 36.000 images per hour to be exact. This comes natural to us, whereas text-based communication has not been around for that long. Even the fastest reader will not be able to compete against the image absorption rate of his own brain. In short – we can process much more information much faster through images than through words or text alone.

Content consumption changes with GenZ

Additionally, in the next years the job market will be flooded with Generation Z members, who already make out the largest part of the global population. These “Tech Natives”, who are the first to be born in a fully internet connected world, are master skimmers and swipers. They absorb content very differently from the previous generations spending only 4.4 seconds per 100 words of text. Grabbing their attention, engaging, and motivating them will be an extraordinary challenge for every change manager in the future.

The future wants to be drawn not written

Creating easily understood, captivating visual content to convey information has always been important, but it will become vital for the success of any change initiative in the upcoming years. Visual storytelling, affinity for design combined with a data-driven and people-centric transformation approach will make or break future change management experts. Honing the required skillset should be a top priority for those wanting to succeed, since the expectation towards a change management professional in the future will not only be to successfully manage change, but to also make change beautiful.

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