I’ve been thinking a lot about how organizational change and the challenges. Why does it continue to come up as an issue? One tiny ‘aha’ I had was about the language we use to explain change. “We are entering a new frontier of business.” Subtle, but powerful. Stick with me here!
We read about “new” all the time in the press – “new normal,” “new economy,” “new social.” New implies a change from what was there – which is half right. But it also implies some stability once you get there. I propose that we shift our thinking from “new” to “next” because we are far from done! We are in a cycle of change that won’t stop and I think we are wearing everyone out with “new X.” I suggest we shift our discussion to one that says “we are entering the next frontier of business.” Be clear that this frontier is just one of many.
Why does this matter? It matters because of how we will be asking our employees, suppliers, partner and customers to change. “Next” is a step from where we are and a continuum. (Think “better” not “best.”) It sets the proper expectations – to learn to be ready for “next” because there will always be another one. It sets the context for everyone to become “change ready” versus “changeable.” This is the shift from managing change to achieving “organizational liquidity” that we have defined at Gartner. Anticipating and being ready for change is a necessary skill that all of us will need.
Let’s give this a shot and see if it makes a dent in our ability to influence change. I think it will, let me know your thoughts.
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