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The Change Enablement
A Perspective on the Future of Managing Change
Why manage Change?
The background concept of the framework is that organizational change will occur
whether it is managed or not.
The distinctive purpose of management is to establish conditions in which a
deliberate change is supported by continuous alignment of ability to a targeted
Obviously, that purpose will then encompass development, evolution and
But managed change is driven by an environmental condition that strategically
demands recovery, growth, or innovation in the organization’s pursuit of purpose.
It represents that the current state is either not necessary or not sufficient as the
For that reason, managed change is intended to cross the gap between the way the
current state is maintained and the future state should be maintained.
Typically, the organization’s ability for change is not explicitly enabled and
ready for the operational transition that is intended to occur.
Architectural capacity and Strategic value are the foundation of the effort’s
success. The organization must be built for change, and do the right work.
In that light, the management is not about progress and performance; it is
about alignment and relevance.
Demand predetermines whether deliberate change is deemed to be
Success and Failure are Value Judgements made at the agreed moment of
Successful change is signaled by the adoption of a different state as either
the new preferred or new necessary “normal”.
It is critically important to acknowledge the difference between adoption and
Lack of approval may cause an adoption failure; but adoption can and does occur
without approval by all affected parties.
As a result, authority is also unavoidable as a factor.
Adoption may happen without corresponding to the conventional authorities.
Meanwhile, the sustainability of a change may or may not be dependent on
approval by authority.
Authority is variable.
Typically, the most influence that authority has on change involves the availability
of resources required to produce and maintain the change.
The most influence that can be exerted on authority itself is typically an explicit
visibility of risk or reward.
Producing for Demand
Demand for change always represents parties that are stakeholders in “the future”;
the point of deliberate change is to align to a predefined future.
This raises three issues.
1. What is the defined difference between the present and the future?
2. Which stakeholders in “the present” will also be stakeholders in the future?
3. What is the support required for the future stakeholder versus the present
The type of change to conduct, regardless of the time spent or level of complexity
involved, is inherently a strategic problem to solve.
Namely: all effort must align to a sustained adoption scenario – one that is reliable
because stakeholders want it to happen and will be directly invested in it
Capability to Produce
The support of production is systemic if the resources, operations and
relationships all contribute on demand for alignment.
The organization of that collective contribution is both an activity and a
structure – or said differently, a function of a form. Both need to be
Within the range of potential real-time activities, the primary objective
is to do the right work.
The ability to do that work as an organization requires that each actor
individually has the motive, opportunity and means for investing in a
role that enables the organization’s ability, readiness and willingness
for relevant production.
Demands on Change
Organizations mounting change initiatives usually know of or already have a wide
range of technical and procedural options to leverage.
Because of the reasonable pressures to operate with economic efficiency and
disciplinary quality, management of change efforts normally exerts its influence in
terms of execution and performance.
That provides an accounting for the validity of the work versus expectations.
However, the reported history of success in that management mode is persistently
discouraging, with no more than a third of managed changes getting a “success”
rating from client and analyst evaluators.
The specific measure of failure has usually been that the outcome did not match
the benefit needed at the time of evaluation.
This problem is only exacerbated by the “new normal” – the increasing frequency
of changes in demand that occur while change efforts are in process.
Changing How You Change
The provider side of those changes has far too often featured an inadequate
capability to adjust on demand in a way that made sense in the prevailing
The breakthrough required by that mismatch is the change in perspective
itself. The role of management in change is not to drive performance-based
The role of management in change is to continually cultivate the alignment
of effort to the production of valuable responsiveness to demand.
Management must create an enabling ecosystem in the organization for
Management’s key “deliverables” are systemic influences on alignment:
transparency and communication; flexibility and resilience; and,
sustainability and maturity.
The management frame of reference for change sits in front of several uncommon
assertions that are basic to understanding the need for the perspective of the reference.
1. Required value can change at any time, regardless of projected value
2. A change effort is not successful unless the outcome is adopted; termination of effort
is not the key state
3. Performance management is the incorrect system of measurement for change; value
management is the correct system
4. Change is not a linear process; it is a continuous campaign
5. Relevant change is not executed; it is produced
6. Most failures of change efforts occur because the organization was not sufficiently
enabled, regardless of commitments or prior responsibilities
7. Change management is not a subset of project management; projects are simply one
type of production tool for intentional change.