How Do Particular Organizations Navigate Change Successfully?
Examples Lead the Way for 'Accidental' and Seasoned Change Managers
We are living in an age where new enterprises are established at an astonishing rate and where, statistically, many collapse within the first five years. Against this background there is something intriguing about businesses which continue to survive economic threats, leaps in technology and innovation, social and political changes, competitors and new entrants while many are subject to merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or break-up. These might be public limited companies, family businesses, public services organizations or multinationals. These organizations continue to recognize the need to change and cannot afford to fail; they are desperate to ensure that their particular change is successful and that change becomes an integral part of what the organization does.
Organizational change has been compared to driving a car whilst changing the wheel at the same time, so how do organizations successfully run business-as-usual at the same time as changing the business while others run into difficulty and falter? Are these organizations just lucky survivors or is their longevity a reflection of their productivity, innovation and resourcefulness, and their ability to adapt and respond successfully to changing market conditions and other forces? Industry conversations about change have evolved from the traditional and basic (occasional, discrete, local change programmes) to a more mature level (complex change across functions, locations and cultures involving a portfolio of multiple integrated change initiatives). These conversations also reflect challenges at the individual level such as resilience, engagement, capacity and capability as much as they do about process, structure, total operating models, approaches to risk and benefits monitoring at the organizational level. New insights from neuroscience continue to help us appreciate how and why we welcome or resist change. Now the change conversation has progressed further again to the understanding that the ability to flex and be agile will be a core competence of organizations and of leaders: change will be the norm, not an applied and separate exercise.
Organizational Change Explained is unique in the breadth of organization types and industry sectors, and in the range of change themes and perspectives it covers. It looks at change through the eyes of 28 leading practitioners who have guided and supported organizational change, and who are candid about the difficulties they have faced and what they needed to do and mobilize to overcome them. The ideas and insights are based upon real situations, of particular benefit to all those who undertake or are involved in change within organizations. While Part 1 presents leading practitioner insights across 12 change themes gained across 18 industries in the UK and abroad, Part 2 challenges the reader to understand how change might influence industry sectors and organizations for the future.
Organizational Change Explained was written for the change community: for experienced and aspiring professionals who lead or indirectly support change; for those “accidental” change professionalswith responsibilities to lead and manage change but who have limited direct experience in this field; and for students of change management courses to help illustrate real-life, practical examples to help them develop their awareness and understanding of organizational change.
About the authors: Sarah Coleman is director of Business Evolution. Her clients include multinationals and established medium-sized enterprises across government and industry sectors including telecoms, professional and financial services, engineering and healthcare. Sarah is a Fellow and former Trustee of the Association for Project Management (APM) and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield and Lincoln universities. Bob Thomas is a highly experienced programme, portfolio, PMO delivery manager with a consulting and delivery background in airports, retail, government (central and local), insurance, logistics, health, financial services, transportation and management consulting. Bob also established Change Practitioner Groups for the APM.
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