The perennial problem of change

How many organisations are seeking to make changes right now to meet the challenges of a falling economy (yes, we’re back in recession in the UK), to address problems within organisations, to drive up profits, to seize opportunities…?

Susan Popoola wrote an interesting summary of The Problems With Change Projects in organisations, published on Discuss HR as well as on the Human Resources UK group on LinkedIn.  Discussion is raging on LinkedIn where there are also some interesting links to other resources.

I added my own two penn’orth as a way to give myself a break one day last week.  This is what I said:

Wow! Lots of really great stuff on this discussion! I especially noticed Andy’s assertion that “The business wants the change to happen a.s.a.p, and there’s a lot of energy at the beginning of the change programme which then starts to evaporate when the going gets tough”. 

Is it possible that one of the issues is that people in senior roles get anxious when things look in any way “messy”? If you’re the sponsor of a programme of change there are moments when things are messy and outcomes are uncertain and when you could well be thinking ahead to the personal implications for you if things don’t turn around. In these moments it’s easy to start looking for a scapegoat or for the next great thing.

It’s more challenging (and courageous) to go deep and to ask, just why is this proving so difficult? Especially because this implies being open and willing to learn about our own weaknesses and things we need to do differently. 

I wonder, what’s the culture in your organisation around change?  And how do people respond when things start to go wrong?

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