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Big, Little, Organic & Transformational Change- A Description

Posted by Gitchell, Garrett at Wednesday, 02/22/2012 7:53 pm
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3.1 from 56 votes

There is a lot of talk lately-on forums, with papers and consultant to consultant- about organic change and bottom up change (organic being the generic term that would include bottom up). There is also a lot of talk about executives sponsors, owners and the importance of "buy-in" from above (either from the beginning or as influenced by the organic "changers"). There is talk of separate CM versus layered CM- separate can mean a lot of things, an entity, shudder- a function, or a defined time based team structure, while layered is CM aligned with the project process.

It is no wonder we have so many definitions.

Each of those three areas will have different players with different skill sets and different perspectives. Big picture, transformational "umbrella" and ongoing change people (I am in that camp) will get in the way of one off clear cut projects. Layered change people with their "turn key" models wreak havoc on transformational change (which is why they are always looking for "buy-in" from senior leadership). And organic change, at some point, needs help from either one.

No approach is better than another. Each may have its place. The two factors I notice are the importance of leadership participation, I use ownership meaning the person who controls the budget, and the scope and scale of the change. If behaviors, culture, structure or process will change drastically to accommodate the end state layered change is a part of a bigger change process. Smaller changes or change locked within a function? Layered CM can work just fine.

Circular argument though. How many change efforts are that defined? Insert "org. design" and you likely will not have that definition. That should guide the perspective and definition around CM.
Don’t be swayed by the apparently easy, and heavily marketed, turn key approaches to change. If your change is small, easily contained and likely within a function then listen to the spiel.

How often is change that clear cut though?