For really managing change  Prospect Gestion 

Change and transition

A new type of change

One of the current time's characteristics it is that what we considered formerly as being the change have nothing to do with the reality to which the organizations or the companies must face today. Until the end of the Eighties, the change borrowed much more from the adaptation, the development or, to speak a " computer-base " language, from an update. We could thus say that the systems improved: the change occurred without having discontinuity with the preceding state. The sum of the lived experiments, in management for example, could be used as references to any manager having made his classes in the former years. It was true then of saying that the past was guaranteeing the future. We can not say that anymore !

From adaptation to the revolution

To speak about change, it is now more appropriate to use the concept of transition. However, if we can, with a certain detachment, determine the beginning of a transition, it will take a smart one to predict the end of it. This type of change has the characteristic to answer to no former parameter because it is not a change in system (or adaptation) any more, but a change of system (or revolution). The former paradigms are not of any use for us; worse, they handicap us. Also, the managers who are trying desperatly to apprehend the current change with out-of-date concepts, because based on their experiment, only sets up what we could call type 1 changes or adaptations whereas we would need changes of type 2 which concern more revolutions or subversions for an organization or a company seen like a system.

More specifically, changes of type 2 are internal and psychological in nature. We speaks then about cultural change or change of paradigms. The difficulty in this type of change it is that it is useless to work out a sophisticated setting scenario and try to forecast inside a so elaborate process. Indeed, it is necessary to take into account the training rhythm of each one with regard of searching and achieving a new balance and a new interior security.

Reading suggested

Ramonet, Ignacio Géopolitique du Chaos . Paris. Galilée. 1997 160p. Interesting work to help us to understand the type of change we must face to today.


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Committed managers

In this respect, the role of managers is a deciding one. As much they can by their attachment to the old processes of management (to plan, direct, organize, control) lock up their company or their organization in an operating mode increasingly out of phase compared to the external environment extremely changing and variable, as much they can cause inspiration when, while recognizing the specificity of the current situation, they show courage, engagement and serenity.

They could not find necessary courage, engagement and serenity without agreeing from the start to be overhanging themselves compared with the great systems which have, until now, supported them in return of their nomination to these managing positions. Because of the responsibility which is theirs to lead the organizations and the companies, beyond and throughout current turbulence, they must allow that the members have time and the means of integrating these upheavals and rediscovering the true direction of work, i.e. the achievement of ourself.

The budget balance and profitability become judicious objectives only as they allow the search and the achievement of value added objectives for the individuals. Otherwise, that leads us to aberrations: the profitability of a company being defined as the level of profit that we did not reach yet or, in the public organizations, a services offer to the smallest possible number with less employees possible and a supervision's rate increasingly reduced. One and the other of these attitudes result in to deprive work of its first direction and lead the individuals to be folded up primarily on their task from the reductionistic point of view when that does not lead quite simply to a true alienation. To describe these organizations, in these circumstances, as learning ones is quite simply speaking of schizophrenia.

Courage and serenity

How the managers can find this serenity in the type 2 change? First in initially wondering about their major motivation to direct: is this the search for power ? In this case, it is useless to await from them any empathy or compassion with regard to their employees, their career being more based on the increasingly large takeover of the other ones. Moreover, considerable managers of this type met only successes until now and are sometimes even remunerated according to their capacity, for example, to dismiss their employees or to reduce the number of managers for whom they have the responsibility! They are "show off" revolutionists that invite the others to make sacrifices without having themselves engaged into this. Their credibility rests only on the position they occupy just like the nobiliy's legitimacy the day before the French Revolution…

Does their motivation rest on a true desire to help the people that they direct, to reach the objectives of the company or the organization while becoming better? In such a case, the advance that the answer to the questions caused by the present period should enable them to understand the training as being directly connected to the time and the rate of each one. They understand that it is useless to pull up a flower to make it grows faster! Insofar as they put themselves in training, they seize from the start that the change of culture borrows much from the tide: despite its retreat, the following wave goes a little further that the wave that preceded it and that it is necessary to rise a little above the waves to see the tide.

What the people seeks the most presently, it is some models that can give them any desire to exceed themselves and to believe that work is not limited to make more with less without knowing if we will be a part, tomorrow, of those which we consider as too many for reaching this objective! In period of strong turbulence, we all need to believe that all this has a meaning. Within an organization or of a company, that's the managers who should be carrying the meaning. The task is heavy but appears challenging for whom accepts to take it.