I’m currently reading the materials for Change & Leadership of my Henley MBA. It’s a good feeling to see how far I have come on my MBA journey. 2 years of hard work, many sacrifices but loads of new things I learned. It’s funny to read that most people show anxiety if it comes to change according to the core reading. However, it’s not so much the change itself which might be frightening but more the uncertainty that comes with it. People usually can’t cope with uncertainty which is why they are looking for something to adhere to. When I decided some 3 years ago to embark onto the MBA journey I was really looking for change. Change to see things brighter and clearer. Change to understand the economic environment even better. Change to become a better leader. Change to become a more empathic person as well. I proudly claim that the MBA has truly contributed to these new behaviors. So if you are really looking for some real change and challenge a MBA might be a good way to go.
In the business environment I’m confronted on a daily basis with change. I can see how difficult it is for people to embark on any change initiative. This makes it sometimes hard for the change leader to guide the change at all. Is there any particular useful model one could use to make change happen? Yes and no. Research has unfortunately shown that each change scenario is different and that approaches chosen in the past, even if they were successful, are not necessarily successful in the future. Of course you can and should make use of your experience but it’s not a guarantee for success.
However, I’m convinced that the change kaleidoscope model from Balogun & Hope Hailey (2004, Exploring strategic change) is a good guide to grasp the complexities of change and get a better understanding of what a change leader needs to be aware of. It’s like a table of content in terms of change.
The model describes 8 features (time, scope, preservation, diversity, capability, capacity, readiness, power) of change which must be taken into consideration. Depending on their content it should be possible to derive the change design choices which are: change path, change start-point, change style, change target, change levers, change roles. The whole change process is however embedded into the organizational change context which needs some attention as well. Following this model a holistic view should be possible. Let’s try it when it comes to change in your environment. If you are interested in the literature have a look at Amazon which is always your friend :-).