A major premise of this book is that the job-seeker or worker who can successfully convey “ through stories “ his or her ability to lead, communicate, and handle organizational change has an advantage over other job-seekers and workers. It’s important to be able to tell stories about other skills, characteristics, and values, too, and they are covered in the next chapter, but “change skills” are the most important because they also encompass many other skills that employers seek. Here’s the reason why.
Where stability was once the goal of organizations, relentless change is now the constant. Scholars characterize change today as no longer an option but a necessity. Without change, organizations lack the competitive and visionary edge they need to succeed. Some experts compare the current age of profound organizational change to the Industrial Revolution.
What’s responsible for this inexorable change? Let’s let real stories illustrate some of the major causes.
Business Process Redesign/Re-engineering
I was team leader for a re-engineering project. My team was responsible for change management for the implementation. We had no in-house change-management expertise, so a consulting firm had promised to bring in an expert to assist with design and development for change and then transfer the knowledge to provide us with the in-house expertise we needed for the ongoing rollout. As the design and development of the implementation phase progressed, the huge amount of change that would need management became alarmingly clear. The consulting firm failed to provide the change-management expert. Since I was responsible for this aspect of the project, and change-management was not being properly addressed, I began to be scapegoated, and I truly began to fear for my job. The project was in jeopardy of failing because of the consulting firm’s failure to provide the appropriate level of expertise. Ultimately, the desired results were not achieved. I’ve therefore learned to trust my instincts and gain support of others earlier so I won’t be scapegoated for the lack of expertise needed to make the change. I am also willing to obtain additional training so I can be the one with the expertise.
Change in Organization Ownership
I worked on the sale of the company for six months before the other employees knew about it. I’m very good at getting the job done, no matter what, with or without help. Then I adapt to change if something falls through.