People, Change and Leadership

Another fall is beginning.  Soon, the leaves will change.  Change is in the air.

But isn’t change always happening?  Little remains the same for any serious period of time.  Change is a fact of life.  Increasing change may be as well.

Sonia Di Maulo of Ready To Feedback (@ReadyToFeedback) provides a daily email called the Daily Compelling Workplace Statistic.  (More info here.)  She provides some interesting information in those emails and I’ve kept many for future reference.  But today’s message prompted me to write this post.

One-third of U.S. companies anticipate installing a head of change-management, with authority and standing similar to that of a chief financial officer, by 2015. The position did not even exist a few years ago, and today only 11% of executives say their companies have such a position.

Source: Human Resources: The Big Issues, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 2008

A couple of things jumped out at me that I wanted to comment on and then ask for your thoughts as well.

New Specialty

The world is asking for a new specialty.  This statistic denotes direction.  The number might sound extreme or low, but organizations plan to devote resources to this skill.  Change matters.  Artful, skillful change that builds up rather than creating collateral damage is a growing and valued skill.

Valued Skill

The idea that the position would be equivalent to a C-Level position surprises me.  It shows that organizations understand the impact of both skillful, positive change  and the cost of careless, difficult change.  Because of market volatility and the importance of “getting things right” in Internet time, organizations will invest more in reducing the risk and maximizing the benefit of change done well.

Speed of Change

One more caveat, the statistics were compiled before our current depression.  Companies will continue on this path, but not at this rate.  Don’t be fooled by the next stat that says this has slowed (my expectations only).  Everything slowed over the last 24 months.  Change Management is a growing valued skill.  You will improve or you will lose.  It’s up to you.

Take Action

So, how can we take action now to get better at leading change and insuring our change is positive?  As the Lead Change Group, we must be addressing these questions.  What do you say?

We will include a summary of the comments below as well as any on the LinkedIn group page in a follow up post or series on Change Management.

Photo by joiseyshowaa