One of the most important trends affecting organisations today is the need to prepare their people properly to be able to respond to and embrace challenge and uncertainty in a rapidly evolving world. VUCA, as it has been popularly termed, has HR and L&D departments rummaging around in their development cupboards for the right tools for the job, only to find that along with the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times that we face, nothing really seems fit for purpose anymore…
As the pace of change increases, the ability of the organisation to predict the future decreases. The pressures from a highly capricious environment will disrupt well laid plans and organisations will find themselves scrambling to cope with significant regulatory changes, technological advances and diversity of consumer behaviour. Organisations who want to lead, thrive or simply survive will have to learn to adapt very quickly.
Previously, the Harvard Business Review has told us that 70% of all change initiatives fail and for a time (where change might still have been considered to be an ‘initiative’) that may have served the consultancies selling us their ‘change management’ services (an oxymoron if ever there were one), but now…?
It’s clear that hoary old rhetoric about change is outmoded; change is the new black, and to embrace it we need to be ready to tear up the rule books on everything we know about old school management models based on hierarchy, bureaucracy and conformity; they’re not going to serve (save) us now.
So what is needed? Well, to develop the internal capability and agility needed to rise to the challenges of an unknown future, organisations need to bring into focus the extraordinary management that is already present, albeit often unseen, working tirelessly behind the scenes in most companies.
It is within the organisation’s under-culture that people demonstrate genuine creativity and where virtuous learning occurs. These people are not bound by the formal management of an organisation. They possess the qualities, if harnessed effectively and deployed widely, that can deliver the resilience needed to lead through change.
So, rather than managing change, let’s start talking more about enabling change which puts the people component of this new future clearly in the centre of the change equation.
Please click here to download our white paper, where we explore the people variable of change, the potential barriers that may exist and how to enable your people to enable change.