Leading an organization through periods of change is what a lot of project managers and consultants do. I’ve been asked questions on this subject many times: how do you manage change? what kind of leader are you? how can you as a leader influence change? what systems have you put in place to make change happen?
Well “change management”, for me at least, is not about leadership, or about systems. The Management Consulting school with its “levers of change” Model is all about the ‘hard’ approaches to change management – changing people (new org. structures), changing systems (ERP anyone?), changing processes (the beloved BPRE industry) – the lever the Model continually fails to pull is the one about changing culture. And this, for me, is the most important, if somewhat “softer”, element of business change.
Michael Palin, English traveller of Monty Python fame, explains this type of change superbly in his book Brazil (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2012) (p 266) “real change cannot be achieved by a system or a great leader but by an individual’s awareness of their own potential.”
Creating the atmosphere, the environment and the workplace to allow individuals to succeed and to realize this potential is where I much prefer to operate as I deliver change projects.
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