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Change management elevator speeches

There are many people you may have discussions with regarding change management. To be effective, each of these different conversations must be meaningful to the person you are speaking with. The conversation about change management and why it is important is very different if you are talking to the CEO, or a front-line manager, or a communication specialist or a project manager.

This tutorial presents examples of a number of short 'elevator speeches' that can help you connect change management to what the listener cares about. An elevator speech is a brief overview - 30-60 seconds or the time it would take to ride in an elevator - that provides the key points and attempts to get the listener engaged and curious in what you are talking about.

Building their 'awareness' of the need for change management means appealing to what keeps them up at night and what they are concerned about. An effective elevator speech about change management connects what the listener cares about (specific to your audience) with the benefits of managing the human side of change.

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Example elevator speeches and key talking points for different audiences


Audience: Elevator speech
An executive or senior manager

"I know that you are concerned with the financials and the strategic direction of the organization. Our experience shows, and research validates, that we can only meet our strategic goals if we manage the 'people side' of the changes we are implementing as part of our strategic plan. And research also shows that your role as a change sponsor - by being active and visible throughout the project, building a coalition of support at the top and communicating why change is happening directly to employees - is the number one contributor to success. With change management, we can develop the specific actions we need to take to meet our ROI objectives by driving the speed of adoption, utilization and proficiency of the changes we are introducing."

Key talking points:

  • Change management supports financial and strategic goals
  • Effective sponsorship is the number one contributor to project success
  • Good change management = ROI
  • Your role and involvement are crucial success factors
A project manager Example:
"When you take on a project, you use a process and set of tools to manage the specific steps to implement the project - like a project charter, a business case and a work breakdown structure. This is focused on the technical side of the project. There is also a set of processes and tools that can be used to manage the human side of these projects. Studies show that to meet the objectives of any project, we need to manage both the technical side - using effective project management - and the people side - using effective change management. A structured approach to managing the people side of change exists and gives us the specific actions and steps we need to take to help people through the changes we are introducing."

Key talking points:

  • Project management focuses on technical side, change management focuses on people side
  • Both have own structured processes and sets of tools
  • Both project management and change management are needed for changes to meet their objectives
A front-line manager or supervisors Example:
"Change is difficult. Many times, you feel caught in the middle - hearing messages from above in the organization and being asked to convey these messages down to your direct reports. We have spent a lot of time training you on how to manage your area of the business, but we have not given you the training and tools to manage the human side of changes that are being introduced. You are one of the most important pieces of successful change. Research shows that you play a central role in communicating with employees, identifying and managing resistance, coaching in both group and individual settings and reinforcing changes to make them stick. We need you involved if we want to be successful at change, and change management can give you a set of tools you can use to help your direct reports be successful during change."

Key talking points:

  • Managing change is a unique skill that can be developed
  • Your employees need you during change
  • Your role: communicate, manage resistance, coach and reinforce
  • Your role and involvement are crucial success factors
A communication specialist Example:
"Communication is a critical tool for making change successful, but it cannot be done in a vacuum. Change management provides a solid framework for all of the levers that need to be used to manage change, including communication. Organizationally, it gives structure to how communication, leadership involvement, training and coaching fit together. Individually, it gives us the 'targets' or goals we are trying to achieve when we communicate. Change management can help you shape your communication by answering what needs to be communicated, when and by whom. With a structured approach to change management, we can create a solid partnership between you as a communication specialist and the others in the organization who work to implement change."

Key talking points:

  • Change management gives context for communication
  • Individual focus answers 'what' to communicate
  • Result is effective partnership
A project team member Example:
"Ultimately, the goal of the project is to improve the organization in some way. The project has specific objectives it is trying to achieve, usually with associated metrics for measuring our success. So, how many of these objectives require people to change how they do their jobs? Probably most, or at least many. Change management is a discipline that complements project management. Both work together toward a common goal - changing how the organization operates. It takes both a hammer and a screw driver to build a house, and project management and change management are these complementary tools we can use to achieve successful change. In fact, we will be most successful when we integrate the activities of project management and change management under one unified plan for improving the organization."

Key talking points:

  • Change management and project management are complementary tools
  • Both disciplines share a common goal of successful change
  • Change managers and project managers must work together as a team to integrate their activities


Resources to share in the elevator:
  • Prosci's latest book - ADKAR: a model for change in business, government and our community - is an easy read with examples and case studies. It gives anyone a solid foundation in how individuals experience change and what actions you can take to support successful change.
  • Prosci's Introductory package includes four resources to help you get started - 1) Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report; 2) Change management: the people side of change paperback; 3) ADKAR: a model for change paperback; and 4) Employee's Survival Guide to Change
  • Learn more about Prosci's approach and offerings to build change management skills throughout your organization in the new training brochure




Managing change on your projects

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Prosci has spent nine years researching what works and what doesn't when managing the human side of change. As a research and publishing firm, we spend our time turning the best practices into easy-to-use, holistic and research-based tools. Prosci's methodology is available in both the hardcopy Change Management Toolkit (3-ring binder with USB drive) and the online Change Management Pilot - complete with assessments, templates and checklists for creating the five organizational levers.

Or, to really experience the methodology, bring a project you are working on to the 3-day certification program and apply the tools as you learn them.


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Ask a Prosci analyst
Order online - secure server Order the Change Management Toolkit or Change Management Pilot for complete change management assessments, templates, guidelines and plans


Tools for applying change management:

  • Change management certification ($2800)- 3-day program where you bring a project you are working on and apply all of the assessments and tools as you learn them - taught by former Fortune 500 executives at locations across the U.S.
  • Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($289) - journal-style report with lessons learned and best practices from 650 participants, presented in an easy-to-use format - reads as a checklist of what to do and what not to do
  • Change Management Toolkit ($389) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting Prosci's change management methodology, includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes USB drive)
  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($189) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change (includes 4 copies of the Employee's Survival Guide)
  • Change Management Pilot ($449) - online tool including Prosci's change management methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists
  • Change Management Pilot Professional ($559) - the content of the Change Management Pilot plus additional benchmarking data and an online version of the Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors
  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management
  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95) - a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change, answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to take charge of change


*** Prosci also offers leadership packages - groupings of products at discounts that offer you some of the most helpful and common combinations of Prosci change management resources


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Email a Prosci analyst or call 970-203-9332 with questions about the methodology, its application, or finding the right resources to support your change management activities.




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