Saturday, December 17, 2011

Can Change Really Be Managed?

I frequently hear the term "Change Management", and each time I ask myself, what does this really mean? And moreover, can we really manage change?

Think about it.  Climate changes.  A competitor develops a new technology making yours obsolete.  A visionary CEO, as did Steve Jobs of Apple recently, passes away. In each of these situations, change happened.  Could such changes really be managed?  If they could be, what exactly would be managed anyways?  What would one say or do?

The more I think about this, what occurs to me is that its not so much that we manage change but rather we manage how we view it, think about it, and respond to it.  If you agree with this line of thinking, question then arises, what is meant by managing thinking?

As I have come to see it, it means continually bringing to surface, with sincere desire to understand and challenge one's own as well as that of others', underlying beliefs, assumptions, perceptions and judgments about the change.

It also means I believe to remain open to not only taking a look at the change from various perspectives but to then also take action to find solutions that take into account various perspectives.  In other words, with this broader understanding, working together to develop appropriate response(s) to the change.

With that said, I believe that we don't really manage change.  Rather, as stated earlier, we manage how we view it, think about it, and respond to it.  Perhaps this is what is meant by Change Management?

What do you think?

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