Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ask-receive-change


I wonder if the paradigm for change management should be changed? I'll bet a lot of people have an opinion on this. If so, and having received their input, I wonder if we would all come together to make a change to the means and manner for managing change?

Parse the paragraph just read:
Step A: Pose a hypothesis or ask about a possible outcome
Step B: Test the hypothesis or evaluate the responses to the question
Step C: Plan the change, or roll out what can be changed (successfully)

This is a simple example of the "ask-receive-change" paradigm. Too often, that's not the paradigm of change management. Too often we get:
Step 1: Plot the change
Step 2: Impose the change
Step 3: Enforce the change

A friend recently asked: plot or plan -- what's the difference?
Two responses to that question:
  1. Dictionary: Plot: a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose; Plan: a not-secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose.
  2. Management view: Transparency. Plots come from the back room; plans come from the front room.
So, in change management, should the plotters be planners? Or, is it better to plot before planning?Should managers ask or tell? And, should the need for change be self-evident or enforced?

Of course the words are dripping with bias. Often, you can't plan in a fishbowl; does that make planning in private a plot? And, no matter its noble purpose and majority advantages, there are will likely be a minority -- sometimes vocal -- for which enforcement is the only highway.

My advice: be biased toward A,B,C even if 1,2,3 are necessary.


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