THE SUM OF CHANGE At any moment in time, every organization will be in the midst of change…  Some will face monumental pressures to deliver results, satisfy customers and clients, meet and even exceed stakeholder expectations and more.  Some will be investing heavily in growth / expansion initiatives such as merger, acquisition, new lines of business, new products, partnerships, alliances, etc.   Some will be responding to internal or external pressures to improve productivity, reduce costs, protect market share, enhance the bottom line, etc.  Some will be wrestling with regulatory change; Sarbanes Oxley and BASEL II for example place great demands upon organizations without due regard for the true complexity or cost of compliance.  Some will be venturing into new ways of conducting business in the virtual world through outsourcing, e-commerce, virtual business portals, etc.  Some will be wrestling with policy driven imperatives where those who contrive or concoct policy are at arms length from the efforts to implement policy.  Some will be caught between erstwhile social/political motives and the practicality of implementing what is needed, when it is needed.  Many organizations will be challenged by change to such an extent that many change initiatives of varying size, import and impact are concurrently seeking to change the organization in some way, in some form, at some time and, more often than not, in direct conflict/contention with what other change initiatives seek to accomplish.  Change takes many shapes and forms…  Some change is corporate in nature; criticality, cost, complexity or competitive sensitivity often determines when change is accorded corporate status and… nothing else matters.  Some change will be vertically oriented; cascading downward, reaching into most if not all organizational ‘boxes’ within the hierarchical organizational entity which is to be strengthened, improved, made better…  Some change will be horizontal, borne of the need to cross hierarchical boundaries in pursuit of seamless management of regions, products, segments, suppliers and so much more. Matrix management makes sense for the day-to-day operation of the business, navigating multiple layers of matrices in pursuit of change objectives is definitely not day-to-day business…  Much change will be localized; driven by tactical needs where day-to-day managers are accorded the ability to change / improve what their part of the business does and why, within reason. Local improvements are often silo in nature, not because they are secret but because no one else either needs or wants to know…

Any one change is multi-dimensional in terms of time, resources, dependencies, expectations and costs. Every change is subject to change as internal or external events of situations dictate.  Each and every single change initiative comprises ‘project’ perspectives and ‘organization’ perspectives, the fact that these perspective are often at odds with one another as well as with other ‘projects’ and other ‘organizations’ elsewhere across the enterprise further complicates what is already a tenuous objective. Is it any wonder 85% of all business improvement initiatives fail to meet expectations?  

The Sum of All Change; past, current and future, is not just a minefield of potential issues and problems for management. It is also the source of very significant opportunities to cut costs, save time, improve quality and avoid the typical issues that arise because critical elements of transformation have once again been overlooked, ignored or taken for granted.

Take a few minutes to speak with me about the Sum of Change. I coined the term back in 1984 when I first investigated and rationalized the phenomenal problems that arise when the Sum of Change is ignored and the tremendous opportunities that present themselves when the Sum of Change is managed to advantage.

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