Changing structures is easy, but making people accept these changes is the real work. That’s why any change management program needs to be centered around people. Organizations have a mission, a reason to exist, and organizations can only be successful when people can truly connect to this mission, to the ‘why’ of their organization. Above all, there must be a connection between an employee’s own ambition and the overall mission. Bringing these two completely and harmoniously in sync, is what every change management program must strive towards.
Context is everything: no two organizations are completely identical, if only because the people and the business culture are different. In some environments that are still stable, a ‘command and control’ approach is the right way to go, in many other cases, where volatility, complexity and uncertainty rule, it is better to go for a ‘sense and respond’ approach. Importantly, a sense and response approach leads to less ‘collateral damage’ than command and control, as scientific research by Decy & Ryan has shown. This is not surprising, as sense and respond allows more room to cater to the ambitions and aspirations of employees and addresses their intrinsic motivation.