Mastering Change in Organizations
Why change management doesn't work.
Organizations aren’t machines – they’re organisms that react to any intervention.
If complexity can not be planned and controlled, then the resulting change can not be managed. Rather, the consequences of more creation, innovation, and agility are forcing organizations to change in order to survive. In which way and to which target image remains completely open.
Timed action plans for the introduction of methods and tools lose their effect in the complex environment. It is therefore not worthwhile to imagine a concrete goal as a vision for a future organization. Organizations need to look for a new way of dealing with change within and about themselves, and to deal differently with the organization and its employees in order to successfully change.
Thus, many different projects are transforming to reinvent the organization and its business model. At the same time, the transformation process will never really be completed, but the organization will empower itself to be able to confidently deal with future necessary further adjustments. The result is agile, self-organized companies that know what to do in uncertain environments.
Our most important tipps for good transformation
Controling transformations via hierarchy seems hopeless in complex environments. Nevertheless, the leadership function of the organization plays the decisive role in the transformation.
Agility is not an end in itself. It serves the organization as an adequate form, in order to enable entrepreneurial action to realize a purpose that is supported by all employees. Ultimately, this purpose is meaningful for the company.
Organizations transform themselves with a meaningful attitude: away from a construct that serves the execution of processes and the achievement of arbitrary goals, to a trend-setting enterprise that appeals to customers and employees.
In a meaningful company, employees assume responsibility when they can identify with the direction of the company. And customers also have a valuable relationship with the company and its products and services.
Change management is like driving a bus: you have to pick up the people and take them with you. The difference to bus driving, however, is that passengers voluntarily decide to get on the bus and ride. However, change measures are decided beyond the heads of those affected and these are forcibly collected and taken away.
In meaningful companies, therefore, only invitations attract people to further design of the organization. The much-cited “war for talents” shows the excesses that organizations use to attract new employees. Numerous stories about the behavior and claim of the so-called “Generation Y” fill articles and books and cause incomprehension in the cultural projects of companies.
With the invitation to change, leaders give the organization a chance to be transformed and to create a new, worthwhile and sustainable culture. There is no need for prescribed programs – what is good is borne by those who are needed to grow their ideas.
Agile teams require rethinking and new action at all levels of an organization. It may feel unfamiliar for a leader to suddenly give up control so that an organization can develop a purpose. As much as the prospect of the attractive effects of agile working is, the way to it is unpredictable.
In order for a transformation of the organization to succeed, the executive level of a company must stand behind the transformation project with all conviction. A little agile will not work unless the agile business units are isolated far from the organization. But then not much is achieved.
In the end, therefore, the courage of the management, the board, or the owners decides about the way to the future, so that the company can successfully meet the challenges of complexity. The changes are sometimes profound and uncertain. However, the prospects are definitely worthwhile – for all members of the organization and for customers.
The 7 Pillars for Innovation
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Dealing with complexity
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