Strategic Change Management
One of the favorite quotes of management and organizational consultants is "All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they're getting." Systems theorists have been saying the same thing since the 1940s.
It's a deceptively simple principle, one with many layers. For one thing, it suggests that any group or company's performance—good or bad—is no accident. Root causes (design factors) are always at work. Since 90% of organizations either fail to achieve strategic objectives or fail outright, it's clear that some design factors tend to be hidden, confusing, unconscious, or ignored.
What is strategic change?
Strategic change management aims first to reveal all the design factors critical to whole system performance, especially those that have "gone underground." These tend to be the ones that impede effectiveness, that is, the ability of an organization to achieve its goals.
The emphasis is on understanding the organization as a human system, not just an economic one, as is the case with traditional strategic management. This is critical because the issues that typically stymie performance are organizational ones that impact how people feel, think, learn, and interact in the workplace. The goal is to realign these with the organization's core strategy to achieve better results.
How does OD consulting facilitate strategic change?
Our role as strategic change consultants is to surface all aspects of the current system design that impact performance. Among others, these include environmental, behavioral, strategic, structural, process, and technological factors. We are not experts there to fix things per se. Rather, our contribution is to see the whole system and help clients reexamine and adjust those factors that are counterproductive, outmoded, or unintentional.
The problem in most organizations is that people who work there are too close to the system to see it. This is just human nature. Getting better reality takes work and courage. But, in our experience, people know what to do when the bigger picture is made clear.