I have chosen to link two pieces together; “Your Change Management Plan Is Junk” by Geoff Schaadt and “Is it time to bin the idea of change management?” by Stefan Norvell. They are among an increasing number of authors who question the very term “change management” as a mechanistic, top-down approach. It leads to change being experienced by people working at the front line as imposed, rather than change being embraced. The more that we seek to plan large scale change interventions, the more assumptions we make, the less likely the plan will deliver the results we seek.
I have a lot of sympathy for the perspective set out in these two articles. Like these authors, I believe that it is impossible to plan complex change interventions as if they were IT installations or new build projects. I always try to avoid using the terminology “change management”, using terms like “leadership of change” instead.
Ironically, one of the best sources of new articles about the leadership of large scale change is the “Change Management Daily” produced by @innovate via twitter. So even though the term “change management” is questionable, it acts as a magnet for all sorts of interesting content about the future of change.