Saturday, July 24, 2010

CHANGE change management

I've been looking quite a bit at the change management literature lately, and I think it's time for it to change. Many of these models are based on early research and learning on grief management. The work, started in the 1960s, focused on the experience of personal loss, such as a the death of a loved one. The models were used by organizations based on the logic that there was a parallel between grieving the loss of a loved one and losing a job.

This logic held for years when change was an event, and the idea of grieving the event made sense. In today's world, however, change is continuous. There is no time for grief, and in fact, one might argue that change should be celebrated instead. If we can create positive momentum around change, then the process can be managed differently.

In fact, in several studies we've been doing on the effect of rate of change on employees, we are finding that the higher the level of change, the more engaged employees are. They want to be part of what's new, and they don't want to be left behind.

What that means is that the money spent on some of the change management systems and models may not reap a return on investment and may be doing more harm than good. Consider the results of the latest Leadership Pulse data (July, 2010).

Leadership confidence went down again, and confidence in ability to change too decreased. The group with one of the lowest overall scores on this question was the HR cohort. This is the team within a firm that should be ushering in change. Is it possible that they are providing low scores because they know the models they are using don't work?

The business world is moving faster, and as a result, change management and other key business processes need to evolve for success. New models of change management are a start. We also need new ways of doing strategy, managing employees and organizing.

Fast HRM is one answer. Look for more information on this in future blog posts and articles.

1 comment:

Karunakaran TK said...

I cant agree more to what you have said. The older models of change management are fast becoming obsolete with the pace change has achieved today. Its more of a continuous phenomenon. The reasons are things such as development in technology and how markets are becoming more dynamic and integrated.

It's more of embedding change than managing change.

Would love to read more about it.