Democratizing Change Management

In the old days, OK the 1990’s the need for Change in organizations was infrequent. The Change was almost predictable, large organisations could adapt to it; you had time to adjust your operating model to remain competitive.


That time is over and is noticeable in the prevalence of the number of articles discussing organisational agility. Back then when the business environment was predictable (and maybe easier), the process of ‘managing change’ typically was controlled and driven by ‘the experts’. Obviously, there were many reasons why we heavily relied on the ‘experts’;


  • The expert has the experience to understand the impact of the required change. Whilst this might have been true when knowledge was scarce and in the hands of the few, today reality is different.
  • How the corporate world reacts to failure. When changed are implemented unsuccessfully without experts would result in being ‘fired’. Therefore, to avoid delivering bad news in times of crisis or tarnishing your image, we tend to call-in the experts to play bad-cop. In many cases completely outsource the job to the experts is career suicide as managers are expected to be capable to project manage.


As dealing with change is now a regular activity, leading it becomes a skill to hone, an internal capacity to master.


Back then, the need for change was cyclical and gradual. Today, as we are witnessing with the emergence of new technology and knowledge, change is constant. This has tremendous implications for the organization. This means that change is something everyone must be very comfortable with both as an employee and as leaders. As dealing with change becomes a regular activity, leading it becomes a skill to hone, an internal capacity to master. Clearly, change implementation, strategy execution, or whatever sophisticated name associated with the process, can no longer be outsourced to the expert only; it must be woven into the organisations operating model. In the future, “the way we do things here” should be a phrase that explains how complacency is not acceptable. Leading change is now a core competency and like all core competencies, you need to keep the intelligence in-house.



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