Managing Change is an oxymoron. Change is not something to be managed. By definition, management is focused on efficiently applying resources to achieve pre-determined standards. Deviation is something to be reduced or eliminated. Change, on the other hand demands deviation from standards towards something new.
If your organization is experiencing change right now, it’s interesting to think of all the possibilities that are being created. A few years from now you will be able to look back to today and appreciate something that changed. Changes in the economic landscape are motivating companies to innovate at a frantic pace. The fruits of these improvements will have a long term impact.
For a person with a constructive mindset, change is exciting. Think back to a significant change in your personal or professional life. At the time it was likely painful to deal with the change. Now think about some of the things that have happened in your life or career because of that change. If the change had not occured you would have missed out on some very positive moments that followed.
At best, managing change can only create incremental improvement. You only need to look at the ailing General Motors, Chrysler and Ford and the unions that represent their workers to see how managing change is working for them. They have been trapped in incrementalism for most of their history.
A defensive posture is embedded in most management teams. Defending the status quo is seen as the safest route because it appears to have the lowest risk. In fact it may be the riskiest because the assumption is that other factors are static and will not change.
Leading change involves creating a compelling vision, communicating that vision powerfully so that people feel compelled to follow and then developing the followers so that they can make the vision a reality.
Today’s change is tomorrow’s normal.
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