Change ManagementThe theory and practice of strategic change; making sense of how to make effective change

Published January 2009 Updated March 2011 30 lectures
Prof. Colin Carnall
Cass Business School, UK

Concern about how best to achieve change requires attention at two levels. We need to look at individuals. How they learn from experience, how they lead or follow and how they behave are important. Also their attitudes to change to the organisation and to the possibility and prospects for change... read moreare part of the picture. Just as important is the organisational level. How ambitious are the intended changes? How likely are they to meet the organisation’s perceived problems? How radical as compared to current or likely competitors? How sustainable is the proposed program of change? Just as important is Change Diagnosis. Is the organisation ready for change? What organisational structures and practices need also to change for implementation to be facilitated? What about the corporate culture? Is that likely to help change?

But any particular change needs viewing in context NOT just of existing structures and practices but all other change initiatives underway or planned and the scale and complexity of the organisation. Can we identify principles of Change Architecture more likely to create sustainable change?

Experience is increasingly showing that managing change programs (where a change program is a portfolio of change projects, over time) is significantly facilitated by creating Change Architectures which obey four key principles, as follows:

• Economy of Change Effort or Energy; there never will be sufficient resource so we must conserve energy and prioritise;
• Integration of change initiatives and existing structures and practices;
• Convergence; the design of change initiatives to converge on a few desirable outcomes;
• Balanced change plans and actions operating across all elements of the organization

Finally we need to look at emerging thinking about change, particularly in fields such as knowledge management, culture and change theory.