Hottest Trend in Change Management is the Most Obvious
As a change management workplace speaker, I am often surprised by how easily organizations miss the obvious and run to the exotic.
For example, while presenting at a recent seminar, I asked the group: what do you think is the hottest trend in change management? I received several great responses including the so called “digital-first” trend; the hottest of hottest buzzwords. Then there was the expected, “end to the physical office,” the green office, the needed and necessary “the corporate social responsibility company,” and the corporation built on equity.
However, as a change management speaker and change management consultant who has been tracking the change mindset for many years, I am pleased to note the hottest trend is corporate culture of change.
I don’t understand
When characterized the hottest trend in change management as creating a culture of change, I was met with blank stares – then it made sense.
For most organizations, “change” is a concept that has been feared, and it is a type of wish fulfillment. The mere mention of change causes the best and brightest to come together and go from, “OMG, what do we need?” thru “a development” and quality assurance effort of some type down to a gasping finish of “we have arrived.” The change becomes a laborious, fear-filled project; cute T-shirts are often produced (“I survived the great blankety-blank change”) and finally, the lets-get-back-to-normal and planning the Holiday party phase.
Of course, I am simplifying, however the established culture has traditionally viewed change as a terror-filled ride where abject failure, fears of learning anything new, fears of falling on faces or other body parts – and being humiliated is cause for sleepless nights.
Why not live with it?
The newest model of change management celebrates the construct that people are human. The model recognizes that like it or not, there will always be something new; perhaps as minor as a new production schedule or more moderate, as a major software upgrade or major, as in a merger or acquisition.
Organizations are understanding that if employees fail at a new task, that at least they should fail speedily and then recover rather than continue the hand-wringing. Similarly, organizations are seeking a change management mindset that encourages teams to be resilient, and where anticipating new technologies and techniques; systems and skills must be encouraged.
Companies that refuse to change, believing change is inherently difficult, will invariably get left behind in the future.
Your input is essential
The flexibility change management model relies on everyone. This is not a gratuitous statement. To elevate an organization’s change management culture, is to empower everyone in the organization to study, spot trends, learn new techniques, have a positive outlook and an anticipate change mindset. Instead of seeing any change as a straight line, organizations should see change as circular; when one change project is complete, the mindset should be to anticipate the next project “lined-up” for resolution.
The more that change is tackled, the better the organization will deal with it. And, if a particular solution fails, to be flexible enough to quickly fix it and move on without finger pointing or added fear.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Change Management Keynote Speaker, for an in-person or virtual presentation, please call him at 704-875-3030 or fill out the form below.