Some Strategic Change Principles to Consider
We've found it helpful to our clients to approach strategic change as a process guided by proven behavioral principles rather than simplistic or faddish models. These principles aren't pet theories, but rather derive from research in management best-practices and social psychology, and have proven valid in our work and the work of many others.
- Substantive change is an emergent process that is immune to perfect planning.
- People's discomfort with change is a sign of their development and not something to avoid.
- Quick fixes and instant recipes typically last about as long as they take to cook up.
- Over-reliance on pet models, tools, and dogmatic systems is often a surrogate for actual change.
- Change requires overcoming denial to some degree, and so getting "better reality" is a prerequisite to change.
- Sustainable change is an oxymoron. Periods of change are by definition punctuated by periods of relative inertia.
- Frequently, excessive focus on the future (over-emphasis on goal- and objective-setting) is a change-avoidant strategy.
- Viable change also must address dynamic human and operational issues, not merely economic ones. This is the #1 shortfall of most management planning.
- Investment in the status quo has proven dicey throughout history.
- Paradoxically, investment in the status quo is every human group and organization's #1 investment.