How Change Mismanagement Created an Industry

by Harry Greene

Organizations do not change naturally as their business changes. The business changes while the organization remains static, building pressure for organization change. Eventually, there is reorganization upheaval that produces a new static organization, and another cycle of the change problem.

Over the past decade, many new business methods became popular, such as business process re-engineering, enterprise resource planning, and various methods of business transformation. Implementing these methods involved significant change.

With all this, most enterprises discovered a fundamental problem. They do not have a strong foundation for business change. Business change is a departure from the norm, they don't have the proper resources, management doesn't have the time, change objectives are not well understood, they have no change management capability, they need to reassign personnel to ad-hoc projects, etc.

The lack of a strong change foundation prompted enterprises to use business change consultants to implement change. Consultants can alleviate some problems, but they cannot provide the foundation for business change. Consultant implementation methods that concentrate on solution implementation and performance improvement aggravate the problem of change.

Enterprises ended up with common business change problems. Management and staff resisted the changes, many changes were never properly implemented or utilized, and it was difficult to see where they had really benefited from change.

Recognizing the problem, business change consultants developed a new line of services called "change management". But, the change management services did not address the fundamental problems of change mismanagement. The services addressed the symptoms of the problems in communications, behavior, outlook, etc. so that the fundamental problems remained for the next change.

So, enterprises added on additional change management services to solve the problems, or at least, some symptoms of the problems. Is this the answer, to create unnecessary problems and then hire consultants to alleviate the symptoms?

This is one of the issues that we are discussing at the Business Change Forum, in order to define problems with conventional methods and discover breakthroughs in enterprise management.

We only need change management services because we mismanage change. We mismanage change because of many factors.

  • We do not have the proper change objective, since the objective is to implement change rather than to benefit from change.
  • We implement the change solution rather than implementing methods that utilize the solution to gain benefits.
  • We do not organize for change, change comes from abrupt reorganizations of the way we do things rather than continuously as part of the normal routine.
  • We do not have a foundation for change, so change is managed by consultants with ad-hoc projects, improvement methodologies, lack of management support, no management of the return, and other problems that make success so elusive.
  • We do not manage performance capital properly. Most capital is unidentified or administered to keep it operating, rather managed for change, improvement, and utilization to produce benefit.
  • Development methods methodically create change management problems, since change is directed at improving user performance rather than enabling users to do new things they could not do before.
  • We have no systematic way to develop the benefits of change and the return on change investments. We can only systematically develop the cost of change.

We cannot solve the change mismanagement problem until we make fundamental changes to business change.

  • The most important thing is to organize for change. We need to eliminate re-organization and change automatically as what we are trying to do changes.
  • We need to understand how we create value through change and manage charge to produce the value.
  • We need to structure our performance capital to be managed in utilization rather than mismanaged through administration.
  • We need professionals to manage capital and change to our capital.
  • We need management acceptance of change through goals and expectations.
  • We need to follow a development method that includes people in the proper role, so that they benefit from development.
  • We need to integrate and manage the utilization of performance capital in practice.
  • We need to manage our own development as an enterprise and utilize consultants in partnership for successful change.

We need to develop each of the elements and capabilities as integral parts of our enterprise to reduce the enormous effort and cost of change mismanagement. Change mismanagement will continue until we structure the enterprise change foundation so that change is a natural part of the way we work.

Copyright © Harry Greene

About the Author

Harry Greene is American, with over 40 years' experience in business change. He developed Result-performance Management (R-pM), a new breakthrough in managing the enterprise that is described in the book R-pM Foundation and Advantage. Harry is the President of Result-performance Management Ltd., a firm dedicated to the development of R-pM. Harry also edits Business Change Forum a weblog that discusses problems with conventional change and management methods. E-mail:

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