There is nothing permanent except change. Change is the only constant. Change alone is unchanging." - Heraclitus

Change is a very powerful constant in our lives. No matter whom we are or what we do, change is inevitable.

In today's changed economy businesses everywhere are being increasingly forced to change their structures and practices. As people are the greatest resource of any business there are now many competing calls on their time and their ability to change their thinking and actions to best fit the ever changing market conditions. It follows that a person's ability to change is today's most important discipline. Change Management has always been an integral part of modern business management, but with the emergence of a changed global economic environment and new business practices it has gathered seriousness.  

Change Management techniques have traditionally helped businesses to adapt and adopt to new systems or way of doing business eg; procedural or production change via project management. However, businesses are increasingly realizing that they need to learn how to implement individual change as well as project change. That said, management still typically see change efforts only in terms of strategy, structure, business processes, technology, skills, products and services—the "work" of the organization. However, mastering the use of new professional skills also requires learning new personal skills sets and overcoming old habits.

The challenge to learn the art and science of individual change is now paramount to any group success.
Lasting, productive change efforts require significant changes in behavior to succeed. Most change management projects also require fundamental shifts in people’s mindsets, culture, relationships, language, and other aspects of how people work with each other. Yet, most of today's change efforts still attempt to mandate changes in people from the outside in, through strategies such as the threat of job loss, new performance standards, or replacing old systems with new ones. However, any change effort will only succeed if people choose to change. Personal change only works if people commit to the process of change -for themselves.

Despite the efforts of well-intentioned change management professionals, most of their education and training efforts do not produce sustainable changes in behavior.

Today, mastering the ability to change isn't just a crucial strategy for organizations it's possibly the one thing that's most worth learning.

-"Change management" theory does not solve the problems organizations hav
e in trying to change themselves.

"Change management" is a derivative of the same seductive reasoning as strategic planning. Both are based on the assumption that there is an orderly thinking and implementation process which can objectively chart a change plan. If that ever was possible, it certainly isn't in today's world of high velocity change.

Innovation, enhanced performance, increased well-being comes about when people are empowered to engage in self-development and self-awareness instead of being put in boxes and controlled.

It's all about People as well as the Process.

Change cannot be managed and made to march to an orderly step-by-step strategic process. For example; when there are dramatic shifts in market conditions, an organization cannot be suddenly turned around and become an innovative market leader/powerhouse in just several months by highly paid consultants employing change management theory alone. But, this is the false expectation that many organizations have today. Organizational change management consultants cannot be expected to radically and quickly reengineer years of bad habits and convoluted processes whenever their market changes and when revolutionary new technology appears every several years or so.

Successful, Lasting Change Flows From Individual Learning, Growth, and Development.

When cost pressures build and market competition increases, the traditional change consultant is simply not equipped to develop individual personal development plans that will dramatically flatten organizations and empower everyone who've had years of traditional command and control conditioning. Similarly, change consultants cannot succeed with just a strategic plan alone to guide organizations how to thrive and survive in today's global village markeplace. What's required are not just long term system changes and individual professional skill changes, but also cultural, habit, thinking and personal skill changes. These later behaviors can only be changed by change-agents who have been trained in the use of evidenced-based behavioral change methodologies and tools.

Similarly, Value Based Management programs that focus only on the importance of Managing for Value (knowledge transfer) will not likely succeed. VBM Consultants also need to be trained how to empower people to change their intention to change and by providing a lot of attention to attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavior control.

Walking the Talk

Without support and guidance however, people are reluctant to risk or invest in the new behaviors. When an organization's leaders overtly model the new behaviors first, they create a safe environment for their managers and employees to also embrace change. As today's organizations require shifts in thinking and behavior in order to succeed, their leaders need to accept their responsibility to walk the talk they are asking of the organization.


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