Change is a natural for all living things on earth. Birth, growth, then decay and death, the cycle is well known and inevitable. This law applies to men but also to civilizations and human organizations. And yet, even when everyone agrees that a system is no longer working, many attempts to resist persist: fear of the unknown, habits, denial of reality …. the reasons are diverse and resistances to change are strong.
This applies also to managerial practices. While all agree on the fact that technocratic or hierarchical approaches have obsolete, few companies change their approach, maybe by ignorance. I even got a surprise this week when I discovered that those who should assist in this process, the consultants, were the first to oppose to or to ignore these approaches on the grounds that the companies would not be ready! Yet these techniques work in such prestigious companies as Mars Chocolate, HCL Technologies and Intuit.
(See the article by Francis Boyer:
What are they? They consist first in a change of minds towards non-a-priori judgment and stereotypes avoidance: This is not because a person has such a profession that s/he cannot have ideas on a project, or not be able of integrating other approaches. Is it not precisely the role of consultant to accompany a new self-expression? A Greek word exists for describing this attitude: « Epoche » suspension of judgment.
The ingredients of the new managerial approaches are then standing back, humility and intuition: The organization must be placed in its cultural as well as its historical context; and the leader must have understood that s/he does not detain the truth, but that the idea which will ensure the organization’s durability and performance may be discovered by a member of his team and sometimes more by intuition than reflection. In other words, s/he must overcome her/his fears, especially the fear loses credibility. This one lays down on the art of federate rather that technicity or authority.
These innovative approaches include change management as a permanent element that goes with performance. It broadens the fields of actions: relationships with the team-reliance with the history of the organization, its cultural environment but also with customers and suppliers. What role does the organization play in this vast game? What does it bring to the environment? What is the meaning its action?