This is a blog by Harald Schirmer reflecting on some of the latest thinking on leading change. Early in his piece, he asks the question: “Is change management – as we know it – still the best way to “drive change”?

I ask similar questions. I am increasingly uncomfortable with the term “change management”. I don’t think that change is something you can manage in a technical rational way, with predictable outcomes. I also have an abreaction to the concept that leaders can “drive” change as if it were a vehicle. These concepts come from an era of change practice where change is “rolled out” from the top of organisations and often imposed on people, where people who don’t join in are labelled “resisters” and usually, the change programme doesn’t achieve its objectives.

This blog helpfully summarises some of the latest thinking about change management versus leadership of change and the rising influence of networks as opposed to hierarchies as levers for change.

What I like best about this piece is that Schirmer’s blog is a personal reflection. It gives a sense of someone deliberating about his own practice and asking more questions than providing answers. He is role-modelling what all change agents should be doing.


IMG_0494_SqThis contextual piece was written by Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer at Horizons Group, NHS Improving Quality @helenbevan