Change Management - Rhyme or Reason

This cartoon shows the frustration that many organizational people feel about change and change managers. Without "just cause" there is no reason to change. And without clear and reasonable communication about the reason to change, there is also no reason to change - at least, in the minds and hearts of many of the supposed "people that have to change". Probably the single most critical success factor to a veritable and sustainable Alternate Future is a picture of what that future looks like, spoken by a credible and charismatic leader of the charge (yes, charge - with an R).

Predictable Rate of Change

A shortened version of this post appears on the South Africa HR Strategy website of

It is clear from observation of the world around us and a study of history of human development that things are different today than they were yesterday. That much is obvious. It is also obvious that the rate of change is different. The amount of change between any two equidistant points in time is not the same; it is more. There thus seems to be, at present, an increasing rate of change. Most writers are agreeing on this.

The point now is to consider whether the observable trend is part of a cyclical pattern or an exponential one. It seems from our point of view, and from all the evidence that we have, that never before in human history has the rate of change been this high. Three possibilities here: evidence; boundary conditions; and snapshot.

Conferences Architected - Season 1, Episode 1

After reading an article by Graeme Codrington of TomorrowToday, I got to thinking about articulating my own conference-design approach. His article is a good pre-read for this one.

A Subtle Architecture of Safe Decision-Making

"We need to be more decentralized in our decision-making," she urges in an impassioned plea to her team of managers. "Indeed," they heartily agree. "The power of many minds is a source of great strength!" A burst of electronic music interrupts, as a text message buzzes in her hand. She reads for a moment, looks up, and without missing a beat proclaims, "The Executive Team and I think that we should be more centralized in our decision-making." "Hear, hear," comes the echo. "An expert opinion is a good opinion!"

He Never Makes A Sound

The Conductor never makes a sound . . . right?

Well, in listening now to several of the videos, DVDs and CDs of both Ben Zanders's presentations and also the BPO performing Beethoven's 5th and 7th, I have begun to hear that the conductor does make a sound.

It is the sound of breathing.

Trust Networks

In a Financial Times article on the 15th of April, an interesting, albeit illegal, trust network was explained.

Culture in Stories

I heard today of a large South African corporate that underwent a transformation. At a certain point in its history a new top-dog was appointed, and he decided, as the top-dogs are wont to do, to bark and bite most of the existing senior leaders out. This "old guard", also being well known in the organization as great tellers of stories (and in some cases, tall ones, but not the matter), duly left, tails between their legs.

The Smoker's Balcony

I'm not sure precisely what make this organizational phenomenon work, but I have a fairly good guess.

I am talking about the Smoker's Balcony. Notice how I have even capitalized the phrase - this is not simply part of the building designated for those who use nicotine products. It is far more than that.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Recently on Chris Gibbons' program on Talk Radio 702, Jonathan Foster-Pedley of the UCT GSB, presented the results of a piece of research that was done at this university.

Further exploration led me to this article, which makes tremendous sense in the current leadership landscape.


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