Friday, January 14, 2011

What's Missing in Organizational Change Theory and/or Practice?

This question was recently posted on the Organizational Change Practitioners discussion board on LinkedIn. Here is my reply:

"To me, the missing piece is 'completing the change' by effectively 'completing the transition' from the old state to the new state. In my opinion, most of the focus is on 'making the change happen', and once that's done little attention is placed on the transition (pain, feelings of loss, emotional support, fear, etc,) to ensure long term success of the change. This is frequently the case with IT-enabled change!

Not completing the transition usually results in significant/long-term dips in post change productivity, poor morale and can undermine the entire change effort. In many cases the cultural changes never happen as a result of this short-sightedness.

So, more attention needs to be placed on change transition vs. change management... William Bridges authored Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change almost 20 years ago. It's a great book, but often ignored. This finishing touch to the change process needs to become a key, recognized component of the practice of change management."

Cheers and warm regards,