There are so many contributing factors that have given rise to the change ‘industry. To name a few, the rise of technology enabled functions that previously were undertaken by humans in hierarchical structures; the ‘information overload’; social networks and the loss of control and authority over access to information; super-start-ups disrupting traditional business models; changing global business contexts (such as the GFC), There is a need for businesses to ‘get better at change’.
The early 1980’s gave rise to the Quality movement, global standards such as ISO 9000 and new ways to deploy earlier teachings of Kaizen and LEAN Six Sigma etc. were everywhere, these enabled industries to focus continuous improvement.
The late 1990’s and early 2000s gave rise to ‘Change Management’ as a profession. Constant focus on process re-engineering, had created a vital disconnect with the impact these ‘improvements’ were having on people. Interestingly, the true meaning of Kaizen, was never well interpreted by Western cultures. That caused a need for a split away from Project Management, which was seen as the ‘technical’ side of transition delivery, and more focus needed on the human transitioning of change – Change Management.
Today, we talk ‘Agile’, to cope in an ever changing and dynamic world. Change is the norm, so the focus is about ensuring people are equipped with the right mindset for change, and know which methods to apply within any given context. Trying to keep discipline and momentum is very hard, as is letting go of power, control and perfection.
Tomorrow, who knows? However, we do know that change is the norm… so when Millennials run our corporations and all us older folk retire – there will be a decline in the need for it as a ‘profession’ – it is hard wired into the younger generations. There will be different industries created that we have no consciousness of today. Exciting times.