No Management In Change Management Is Dumb!
Ever quickening technological advancements create an urgent need for companies to devise fresh ways of working. Our Twitter feeds are full of examples of trend setters or “killer companies” who are leading the wholesale digital revolution such as Uber. We are also all too aware of the likes of the Kodaks and the Blockbusters whose tomb stones remind us what it means to fail to change.
Those of us in the less advanced parts of the world need to learn how to maintain relevance in the first world standards. I think of this as similar to running a cell phone update in order for us to make use of the phone's improved functioning. Organisations too need to run internal system updates to re-shape their corners to fit the exterior mould. We take learnings from the Airbnb’s and the Amazons, who share some of their tactics in a transformation bible of literature. They create self-managed multidisciplinary teams who have control over their budget from product conception to market. They integrate quick cycle think tanks. They carve lean Holocracic structures where everyone has power in the common vision. (For reference, since it’s a relatively new term on the block, Holocracy is a new way of structuring and running your organisation that replaces the conventional management hierarchy to allow distributed power across the organisation and drive freedom and creative thinking. Have a look at this website for a range of interesting material on Holocracy).
The exponential organisations are so exciting for all who exist and work in them. They have pioneered a characterisation of work where you are free to think and express originality, and where there are less rules and red tape. Due to the urgency to deliver change and become agile, the change management plans are significantly detailed. But, when you look closely, all too many of them have overlooked the need to re-craft the management style accordingly. The conception is that the traditional management style will suffice. This is almost as pointless as getting a new body without a new head. The two go together, or are useless independently. Change managers craft the end to end transformation, but do not give the necessary attention management's role. So many times the change management plan has meticulously assumed that traditional management will maintain relevance and drive for results. Yet, it could not be more misconceived.
In a space of work where autonomous and self-organised talent rules, there is no throne for traditional management practice. The new unspoken rule of thumb for Talent Managers is that no management program older than two years is relevant enough to up-skill the demand that managers are currently facing. What the thought process behind this rule suggests, is that we need to constantly think about how managers create value in a moving work environment. It emphasises the role of management in driving change and contests any school of thought that management has become irrelevant in the event of the self organising team. From my own observations of both workplace success and malfunction, I have concluded that management is more important than ever.
Where we need to focus as human capital professionals is on re-defining what it means to be a manager today. At Leap, we work with management teams to help them craft their unique management model that is equal to the challenges which the organisational revolution presents. This helps them become more successful by addressing the invisible factors which makes their transformation stick. Our process helps the managers understand that their role is to coordinate dynamic behaviour and be iconic masters of flexibility. We call this putting the management back in the change management plan!
1. DeAngelo, M. (2018, September, 27). What is needed to do strategic planning in Holocracy? Retrieved from https://medium.com/@deangelo/what-is-needed-to-do-strategic-planning-in-holacracy-7076b527301a
2. Morieux, Y. (2018, October, 4). Companies Are Revolutionizing How People Work. Now They Need to Transform How Managers Manage. Retrieved from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/bringing-managers-back-to-work.aspx?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=201810Agile&utm_campaign=201810_Agile_OUTREACH_NONE_GLOBAL&utm_usertoken=a64f227d4e71e3a1f63859adda0c34ed64ec9bf3&redir=true
3. Robertson, B. (2014, June, 28). History of Holocracy. Retrieved from https://blog.holacracy.org/history-of-holacracy-c7a8489f8eca
4. Stone, B. (2017). The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World. Little Brown and Company.