Reflecting on the many change management conversations I have had with clients and colleagues over the past few years, the discussion ultimately ends up with someone suggesting that “the world has changed and we can’t keep managing change the same old way.” Some even go so far as to challenge the core tenants of our discipline, suggesting our vigilant focus on resistance analysis, data driven decisions, sponsorship, and governance are outdated ideals, too time consuming, cumbersome and rigid to be effective in the fast paced, financially strapped, lean business environment of today.
It’s true, the world has changed. The changes organizations are making are more complex and have greater impact on survival than ever before. The pace and volume of change is overwhelming and ever increasing. But it is evident to suggest that proven change management methodology (in our case thirty-seven years of valued service to our clients) is no longer a viable approach any more than it is to suggest that project management, lean or six sigma should be abandoned.
Organizations and their leaders are still looking for the silver bullet. They find change management and convince themselves that if they send a few people to training,assign someone on the project team as the Change Agent, and send a few more communications they will see dramatic results. The fact is change management always has, and still does require discipline and organizational stamina. We tell our clients not to make change for the sake of change. I’m suggesting to you this isn’t the “old way”. It is still the “best way” to ensure change is managed well and your organization gets the expected results.