Accelerating pace of change – Rethink organizational change management

Accelerating pace of change – Rethink organizational change management

Accelerating pace of change - Rethink organizational change management

Keep pace with accelerating change – Change management needs to change

Is it possible that everything that is known about change management is wrong and that there is a need to go back to the drawing board?

Based on the article “Change Management might be dead – Let’s go and have a nice funeral”, “Time to say goodbye to change management” and “Riding the wave of change” there have been a lot of discussion in various LinkedIn groups. The many responses included rich and varied perspectives and opinions on change Management, its meaning and importance.

Below several distinctive views, illustrated by direct quotes from the LinkedIn discussion threads – unfortunately it was not possible to acknowledge everyone who made helpful contribution.

Samantha Chambers-Skeggs

The traditional tools and techniques don’t suit the accelerating pace of change. The discipline itself needs to adapt and keep pace with the faster pace and the move to the ‘future of work’. This can be as simple as being more responsive to, and addressing, the changing needs of stakeholders. Even the term ‘change management’ is dated. People don’t need to be managed through change. They need to be guided, engaged and inspired by brave, authentic and influential leaders.

Jill Morgan

Change Management as it has been known should be dead …. filling out forms after the fact. Change management must evolve to drive use and adoption of changes strategically identified to improve performance.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Shepherd, M.A.

“Change management” has been templated, certificated, and commoditized beyond recognition, sadly.

Bayo Akinola-Odusola

It seems to be the case however it’s the way “Change Management” is being embraced and used that’s really changing.

Phil De Caux Surely

In “a VUCA world”, change still has to be managed, just in a far more agile way

Allan Maram Ph.D.

Unfortunately, many change management practitioners ignore or don’t give sufficient consideration to the more transformative aspects of culture and organizational development which are often critical to managing change in organizations. With the rate of change accelerating due to several factors such as emerging technologies (Robotics, AI, Machine Learning etc.), a more holistic approach is needed to transform underlying mindsets, behavioral norms and assumptions in order to deliver the innovation and agility required in line with business needs. Change Management practiced in line with certification frameworks will become increasingly obsolete as a result.

Andrew Bergen

Interesting high level strategy piece. Shame it has no substance of what implementing such a concept actually looks like. Building cultures that embrace and thrive on change requires more than buzz words, and in fact needs a standardised, robust and consistent approach to implementing change, especially for large, complex organizations.

Albert Tembo

There is so much change going on in some organizations that management often forgets to evaluate the impact of the last change but instead dive head first into the next. This leaves the workforce totally confused and over time change initiatives get less and less buy in and soon any change becomes classed as a passing fad – to be ignored or at best, deserving of nothing but a cursory acknowledgement.

Bay Jordan

Hopefully anything to do with top-down direction is dead, including Change Management if it is largely viewed as simply a productivity improvement tool. You are 100% right when you say that, in order to thrive a company – or any other organization – has to build change into its DNA. But beware the trap of attempting to build an organization culture that embraces and thrives on change as a goal. That is just another top-down change initiative too. As Edgar Schein pointed out years ago, organizational culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin. Thus you need to focus on developing leadership – at all levels in the organization – if you are serious about creating a VUCA-proof organization

Sérgio Leme Beniamino, Ed.D.

Building support and understanding for change will always be a competitive advantage. WILL NEVER BE DEAD.

Ronald van Westering

Even when teams adopt dealing with change as one of their core skills and culture element, we can probably still refer to the process as “change management”. It will carry a different association then a decade ago.

Eduardo Muniz

Change Management is a function. You can change the role or make it obsolete but function remains ….

Tony Limpus

Seldom is it done right yet the world keeps turning despite this.

Albert Orr

The need to manage the people side of organizational change is needed today as it always has. Whether we call it ‘Change Management’ or something else does not bother me too much.
More importantly we need to understand that for the vast % of change initiatives we need both traditional top down active support together with bottom up, involved participation to succeed. That is not to say we solely need that but without it, the probability of successful change decreases.

We need to challenge the prevailing but misleading view in many organizations that if you have a relatively small ‘Change Management’ team in your department or as part of a programme that it is solely their responsibility to manage successful people and business change. There needs to be effort to encourage acceptance that all programme team members are ‘change managers’ and impacted managers and their teams are involved in the identification, solution design and implementation. This is difficult and easier said than done but I believe if we want to improve the depressing stats that show 70% of change programmes fail, organizations need to understand and accept that if they are serious about embedding successful change they need to show they’re serious

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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