Reflections on defining “Change Management” – Killer Value Proposition
Recently, in several global Communities of Practice, many different interpretations, and mis-interpretations, of Change Management have been debated. The breadth of definitions is quite incredible (from “Leadership” to “Implementation Metrics”) as is the depth of any single component (such as “Change Communication”). However, the “ah ha”, for me anyway, is that the past does not yield the Killer Value Proposition – that lies in the future: change is changing and Change Management must change.
All of us reached back – into our education, reading, experience. And there is a treasure trove of value there. But I cannot help thinking that the problems we need to solve – helping organizations anticipate, prepare for and optimize change – have changed. Not to be coy, but “change” has changed. Faster, deeper, etc. Added to the extraordinary and increased complexity of organizations today ….
I wonder if these conditions add up to making our old tools are inadequate – either alone or even, in some cases, combined. Certainly, in most cases, any ‘change management’ is better than none – but what would be optimal? Leadership + communications + training + + + +. Would that be enough?
I mentioned “Glimmer” (Warren Berger) in a previous post but just want to reference a quick quote: “What I’m hearing from top Fortune 500 executives is that they know how to make just about anything—but they don’t know what to make.”—Patrick Whitney, design and business strategy guru.
If the goal posts are moved from ‘implement this change’ to ‘develop an organizational capability to let go of the past, imagine and reach for the unknowns in the future, develop the fortitude to experiment ….’ What would we call this? It is more than ‘leadership’ and more than ‘management’ – it is culture + process change + + …. There is no single role in an organization today responsible for this – many roles have an important part to play, including every leader, but I am reminded of the story of “Whose job is it? (Everybody, Somebody, Nobody)” (available here http://gailseverini.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/who-makes-change-happen/)
If this is the kind of thinking required to move our economies forward then as change practitioners we too need to adapt. Using old, sometimes too familiar, names and catch phrases does not convey the value that needs to be driven. I certainly don’t propose to know the answer but I am intrigued to know if anyone else is thinking along these lines – what would you call this organizational competency?
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