Webinar: Change Management is Obsolete: Learnings from Research and Practice About What’s Next, 7/30/13, Recording/Slides

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with Chris Worley and Sue Mohrman

There’s little disagreement that we are living in an increasingly VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. The question is what are we doing about it? Are we building organizations that can thrive in this new normal? Our research and practice with organizations trying to become more agile and adapting to this continuous change has led us to a radical conclusion: Change Management has become irrelevant.

For the very same reasons that senior executives routinely list managing change as one of their companies’ biggest challenges, our prevailing notions of change management have become obsolete. Lewin’s “unfreeze-move-refreeze” paradigm is a managerial fantasy in today’s world, and we need new models. Too many organizations attempt to redesign and implement a new steady state organization. Whether it’s Lewin’s three phase model or Kotter’s elaboration of it; whether it’s ADKAR or CAP or Action Research; whether it’s Conner’s Return on Change, Bridge’s Transitions, or Beckhard’s Change formula, they all imply that achieving and maintaining some form of stability is the key to success.

The new models of change will focus on how to cause change, not how to manage it. How to deftly navigate in turbulent waters, not how to align around a new course. How to intervene and catalyze complex reconfigurations, not how to plan and implement from the top.

In this webinar we will characterize the world we live in and explore the obsolescence of the design and change models that we use. Most importantly, we will share what we are learning from our research and practice about more relevant change models, capabilities, and interventions that address the need to continually reconfigure to achieve sustainably high performance. We will talk about the implications for the skills, tools, and practices of OD and HR professionals -and even line managers–in the future.