Harnessing Change

Have you ever worked in a company that seemed to change of the sake of change? Maybe they are continually and overly influenced by the latest article in Harvard Business Review such that every month brings with it a new strategy, vision or focus?

I find that all too often the goal is to simply create change in the organization, ostensibly to improve the organization. Anyone who opposes change labelled a snarky pessimist, not a team player or otherwise stagnant. Anyone who is “on board” simply “gets it” and is rewarded with inclusion, participation and the label “change agent”. (Sounds cool, doesn’t it?)

When you’re in a constant state of change, it can be difficult if not impossible to realize the benefit of change. I’ve found that in some organizations that self-identify as “dynamic” due to their open embrace of change, they rarely complete a full cycle of one change, before they’re moving into another direction.

I wonder if it is more valuable to identify and leverage the change that is happening around you. In your work environment. In the market.

Instead of constant internal change, perhaps the change that is required of you and your organization should simply be to adapt to leverage, to ‘harness’, the change that you can’t control anyway, such as market changes, technology changes, geopolitical changes etc.

In other words, maybe it is the ability to respond to change that is more valuable than the manufacture of change itself.

What do you think?

Jame Healy is the Managing Partner at Alescent, providing advisory services, research and analysis primarily to corporate shared services organizations (finance, human resources, procurement, legal, supply chain, IT) within large multi-national companies.

With over 25 years of experience in strategy and management consulting within the financial services industry, as well as healthcare, transport/logistics and manufacturing, Jame has led numerous large, strategic and high-risk initiatives, delivering verifiable returns and "bottom line results". Jame has been a key advisor to senior executive management in many large, multi-national organizations, with an emphasis on revenue and income growth through service harmonization and financial performance optimization.

Jame has published several peer-reviewed articles and spoken at various trade and business events on strategy alignment as well as capabilities-oriented strategy execution, service integration and service optimization.

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