What's Changed about Change Management?

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Photo Credit Ross Findon on Unsplash

A few years ago I stopped using the term change management because I kept meeting Change Managers who were failing in their roles of MANAGING change. Being brought into an organisation or a project that was falling apart, became a great way for me to make a lot of money, but “fixing” change initiatives that go wrong soon became boring.

Time and time again, I would hear this frustrated cry:

How can it be going so wrong when we are doing everything right!

When reviewing their change management plans – clients were doing everything ‘technically’ that is required for a change program to be successful. If you search online for change programs, they all tend to have the same methods within them (in fact here is one that I have designed and used myself).

As reproduced for publishing in "The Illumin8 Guide to Better Business" Everything an Aussie Business Needs to Think about in 2019" Page 30

Alongside their solid plans, they could also show me evidence of an adequate budget for the plan, a change management team representing the organisation with good decision-making models, a communications plan that used various channels to reach the diverse needs of staff, some even design a special place for Change Labs and Brainstorming sessions. They could even show the WHY for the change (go, Simon Sinek! )

So what was causing the continued failures – and dare I say, will continue to cause failures in change programs?


Why Authentic Bravery?

First, can I tell you a story about someone close to me who decided to be truly authentic and truly brave about a very significant change that he was required to drive in his business?

Picture Janet, sitting in her kitchen eating breakfast flicking through her phone before she was about to head off to work. An email titled CHANGE came in, and there was a “voice-memo” attached. It was from her big boss, the one above her actual boss – and you always pay attention to emails from the big boss! So she immediately clicked on the play icon.

“Hi Janet” (she almost fell off her chair at this point, because her big boss used her actual name, did he do that for all the staff? – there were lots!)

“It’s Dirk here”, (short pause, you could almost hear him take a big breath……)

“In one year