I don’t like the the term “Change Management.” I think it is an oxymoron. Management implies control. Change implies chaos. These are diametric opposites. Change is unpredictable. I think this implicit conflict between wanting change and wanting to stay in control is the reason that changing an organization is so difficult.
I believe you can lead change, inspire change or unleash change. IMHO, trying to manage change means you will fail. ( See also The Deadliest Sin of Change Leadership ).
What does this difference mean for change managers?
I was once recommended a video on change management, and the essential message was understanding how people react to change based on the Kübler-Ross Model, better know as the five phases of grief. My first reaction was WTF!? But then I realized this kind of reaction is a) probably quite widespread, and b) a consequence of one group people doing the thinking (“managers”), and another group having to execute and/or suffer the consequences of that decision.
Why is change so difficult to do? Because the way most people go about it provokes a series of responses that begin with denial and anger and end most likely with resigned acceptance. Unless the change initiative dies first. Can this be a promising strategy?
When teaching and coaching change, I draw primarily on three sources:
If you want to lead a change in your organization, check out my Master Class Workshop: Scrum, Vision and Team Performance. You learn to apply these approaches while improving the effectiveness of your Scrum and Kanban Teams.
What is the role of management? To lead change. To inspire change. To bring problems to the people who can solve them. I like the phase change leadership much better than change management, because leadership implies inspiration. Inspired leadership catalyzes lasting change all the time.