The fallacy of Change Management

There was a time when I believed that writing posts like this one would make a difference. I lost that belief, but it needs to be said again and again, so here I go ... again!

You are a #Manager. You most probably have been taught to manage change with the same approach you use when you manage operations and projects. This is the fallacy of #ChangeManagement.

As you may have noticed, it never works. NEVER.

When you accept this, you maybe begin your path towards becoming a #ChangeAgent.

Some of the principles that guide the work of a Change Agent are counterintuitive for a Manager. The discomfort you will feel, can be so great that you may decide to go back to Change Management. Despite you knowing that it doesn’t work.

Your call.

I share here three principles that will make you either warm up to the challenge or cringe away from it:

1 – People change when they want to. Period. Those who don’t want the change you are promoting will either submit or resist. If they submit, they stop adding value to the best of they capability. If they resist, they sabotage your efforts. There is no way around this principle. You either accept it or you fail as a Change Agent.

2 – A different future is possible … Here and Now! It is not about pushing or pulling people and the organization towards the future. It is about bringing the future to the present through micro-interventions. When your people have had the taste of the future you want to promote, they will make it real without you needing to do anything else. If they want it.

3 – The only way to make people trust you, is to trust them. To preach about trust makes people distrust you. To make grandiose speeches about the bright new future you envision, with the intention of motivating your people to bring it about, demeans them and aggrandises you. If you don’t trust that they will do the best they can, any team-building activities to develop trust are just a fake. Keep your fear for yourself and get out of the way. You will be surprised.

Walking in Stockholm I saw the ice formation in the picture and came to think about the warmth needed to unfreeze so many managers trying to go about Change as operations and business as usual.