As you might know, the change theories are evolving slowly but surely. Outdated theories are often common assumptions until the critical mass adopts the new perspective.

Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini think that our beliefs about who is responsible for launching change and how change is implemented are now leading us wrong way:

The first old assumption is that the change starts at the top. Nevertheless the top management is often isolated from daily life. Hence the responsibility for initiating change needs to be syndicated across the organization if we want to make deep change to stick.

The second outdated assumption is that the change is rolled out and need to get buy-in. Well, you don’t need to sell anything, if the “how” of the change is defined by those who will be most affected. Therefore the buy-in is the by-product of involvement.

The third dead assumption is that the change is engineered. However the progression of any transformation is hard to predict, it just happens. That’s why self-organizing communities are more efficient on change than a powerful Project Management Office would ever be.

Hamel and Zanini claim that “Change comes naturally when individuals have a platform that allows them to identify shared interests and to brainstorm solutions”. That is not hard to believe!


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Photo: Li Yang


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