One of the reflections that we can take from the multitude of attempts at creating change in organisations, is that change is less about a change initiative, and more about how we work together. Rather than change being a project that we do from one date to the end, we are recognising that the workplace is more and more becoming a place where change is constant. What I mean by this is that we seem to be changing so frequently that maybe our normal state is to both change and to maintain continue operations?
This is an interesting point, because there is a strong metaphor that says; we are either in a balanced and stable state, or we are trying to change something. When we are stable we work one way; procedures instruct us, measures guide us, and people do the things they have on their job description.
And when we ‘do change’ we work another way. We plan, decide, develop a programme, and implement. We move from one state to the next.
But increasingly we see that perhaps we should accept that both seem to be constants at the same time. And trying to jump between one and the other seems to be unstable, difficult, stressful, and often contradictory. Staff cannot keep up, and managers are trying to deal with too many issues at the same time.
The clash between the two states points to a tension, that if it remains, becomes increasingly uncomfortable. And the more we try and control each down, the more confusion it seems to create.