The Rhythm of Change
“We percieve our environment to be in a constant flux becuase we only notice the things that change.” In all actuality, many things continue to remain the same, and in fact, stability helps to form the basis for our experience. The authors noted three distinct types of change: dramatic, systematic, and organic. Each is lead by a different person or group, and each takes place at a different level in an organization. None of these types of change, however, can work in isolation. The authors, therefore, present what they refer to as a rhythm of change. Corporate revolution is led by the leader of the organization; these are the dramatic events that change a society. They are the cumulative result of small, organic actions. Corporate reform is led by staff groups and consultants within the organization; these are the cumulative effects of initiatives that amount to massive changes. While these changes are planned, they must refrain from becoming too systematic. Finally, corporate rejuvenation is led by individuals throughout the organization; these are organic efforts embedded deep within an organization that result in cultural and strategic change. They can be inadvertant, imperative, steady, or driven. The authors conclude by repeating that these three types of change must work collectively in order to be the most effective.
(The Rhthym of Change, Quy Nguyen Huy and Henry Mintzberg, MIT Sloan Management Review, Summer2003, Vol 44, Issue 4, pg 79-84)
It seems that the prevailing business credo these days is “keep on changing”; if you don’t your competition will eat you alive. In the midst of all this frenetic activity, say Professors Quy Huy and Henry Mintzberg, perhaps management gurus have overlooked an important perspective: that stability and continuity actually form the basis of our experience and therefore provide a context for how we view change. In an article appearing in the Sloan Management Review, they assert that there may even be times when change should be resisted; for example, when an organization should simply continue pursuing a perfectly good strategy.
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Everyone rises to their level of incompetence. “The Peter Principle” American teacher and writer (1919 – 1988)
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