"Change is wild," I recently wrote in a comment to Eric Lynn who had posted his thoughts on the topic 'Change Management is an Oxymoron.'
He wrote: "Change is ubiquitous. It is, and always has been, simply an element of our dynamic world. In organisations, change may happen as the consequence of external events or a new desired status may be defined. However, the "change" cannot be managed. We can define and manage elements of the technical process involved in achieving the desired status. We cannot "manage" the human side of the process. We humans are unpredictable and in groups, the dynamic and chemistry of our interaction is even more so. It's a fallacy to believe this can be "managed". Human beings need to feel invited, encouraged and inspired to actively play a role in driving the organisation to achieve the new desired status. They need a purpose, or at the very least, a good reason."
I agree with him.
I commented: "I like your point of view on this, Eric, and I think you are on the money that Change will not be managed. It's too wild. I think we need to respect it. And then do our best to accept it and facilitate it."
What has changed about Change?
Is Change like an untamed beast set loose that we think we can command?
Is Change is like a fierce storm that we think we can control?
There was a time when change projects were "neat," having a beginning, middle, and ending. Forget about that now. These days, change is like a roaring high tide. There is no end to it.
Jack Welch once said "Change before you have to." That day has come. That is where we are. Welcome to the new normal.
If there is a new approach to change needed, I'd start with the need to respect it, just as we must respect the wild things we encounter on a safari or swimming in rough surf in the ocean.
Then we must do our best to accept it and facilitate it.