Chapter Two: Managing Change

The first evidence that change is a subject worthy of particular focus is how often it fails. Another factor is the rate of change (real or perceived) and the relative predictability. Finally the management competency for leading change.

The forces of management include external and internal. The process of change famously proposed by Lewin, involves unfreezing (the undoing of patterns), movement (changing perceptions and mental maps) and refreezing (reinforcing changes so they become established). The causes of failure can involve not unfreezing, a failure to see the need for change, having an overly simplistic view of the past and future, and the desire to maintain equilibrium. It can also involve a failure to move due to change uncertainty or outcome uncertainty or uncertainty about requirements. Or the refreezing stage may fail, due to a failure to finish.

The forces for successful change involves firstly being constantly aware of the possible need to unfreeze, via the creation of high contrast and regular confrontation. Secondly, overcoming the failure to move through making sure that the need and process for change is clear and the benefits are known and accepted and that resources are available. Finally, overcoming the failure to finish by creating early wins to reinforced desired behaviour, helping people see the progress of change by informing them of personal and collective progress, repeating the message and by creating high-impact, inescapable confrontations.