Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.

What is THE critical organizational capability for 2011?

Well my vote won’t surprise – but this might – just before the recession hit (BTW are we back to this point yet?), Boston Consulting Group did a survey of 4700 executives in 83 countries “Creating People Advantage: How to Address HR Challenges WorldWide Through 2015”, April 2008 (1). The coverage in Bloomberg BusinessWeek pointed out a surprise:

“1/3 of US companies anticipate installing a head of change-management

with authority and standing similar to that of a chief financial officer by 2015” (be still my heart)

 … “only 11% of executives say their companies have such a position”

However, the current reality is that VERY FEW organizations (including those who say “we do that internally already”) are really fully leveraging the current array of Change Management thought leadership.

What might the full array look like?  This is a white paper we produced in Sept this year addressing CM in the context of innovation – a 3×3 matrix identifying 9 components: “Call to Action: Power innovation bandwidth with the 9 pistons of the Change Management engine” (here). 

To be very pointed, this is to say that transformational change requires MUCH MORE than “leadership”, “communications” and “training”.  It requires all of those but also much more and much more deeply than most organizations currently practice. Do we have a point of view on what this might look like – well yes here.

Why is this important to me? Well I do believe that the organizations that are the life blood of our economies (yes, it’s that big and important) need to evolve – it’s more than a “culture of innovation” although that might be the thin edge of the wedge.   And that Change Management is a critical organizational capability to achieve this in any deep and sustainable way.


(1) So the link on the BCG site for this report actually goes to an updated version dealing with the financial crisis – so here’s the BusinessWeek article

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