We call ourselves “change agnostics.”

As many do.  There are so many change management frameworks to apply that it doesn’t matter which is chosen.  Really. 

You could be a disciple of John Kotter.  A devotee of William Bridges.  Even ProSci certified card carriers.  To us, if clients prefer one architecture over another, so be it.  We’ll adopt it, embrace it, even.

But what we won’t do is slavishly follow the principles, from Point A to Point Z.  Why?  If you think about it:

  • ·       Change is never linear.  Though the business case/reason for the shift might be apparent to some, trust us, it won’t be to all.  Somewhere, someone (or most likely, some group) will either have a hard time recalling the “why” or are troubled about the connection between the why and the what.  Too, a number accept the change at first, without whimpers.  Then, suddenly, in media res, they start questioning and erecting barriers.
  • ·       Corporations are not the same.  Even if they inhabit the same industry.  There’s that elusive, differentiating culture, for one.  Everyone will admit that a Lenovo differs from Dell – not just in terms of products, but also in how things work around here.  And though many internal programs might appear to be the same, say, HR benefits or performance management, the determinant is in how employees think and feel about them.  So why would the same framework and tools work for each?

What caused our tirade?  One not-to-be-mentioned global professional services firm recently issued a white paper about the mandate for tailored change, driven by analytics, precision, and insights.  It advocates pairing objective and subjective data, ensuring leadership is on board, and following three roads to sustainable change through head, heart, and wallet.

Our response?  [The quick one:  See our headline.]  The more thoughtful answer:  Tailoring or segmentation is something our marketing and communications and advertising brethren have practiced for years.  Today, most of us apply customized change inside as well as outside, along with good hard looks at big and small data and a philosophy that uses change as a momentum, not isolated events. 

It’s never an easy path, this notion of change.  What are your thoughts, dear reader?