Perhaps it is time to rethink Change Management

In recent years, companies and work organisation have been constantly evolving. In search of a more flexible, flexible and horizontal structure, we have seen the arrival of open space and flex office, collaborative intranets and corporate social networks, Lean management and agile management. And I am not talking about the constant evolution of the information system. This list will obviously always be incomplete in view of the continuous changes currently being experienced by the structures. And the change management in all this?

It is part of a project defined by a schedule where it provides as much as it can the tools to appropriate these changes to the people affected. But if we assume that change in organizations is now permanent; that the majority of companies today, for their survival and growth, must be part of a sustainable change aimed at making the structure more flexible, adaptable and collaborative, then change management must be focused on this project.

In other words, wouldn't it be time today to redefine the management of change as a whole as the bearer of a real business project?

It is necessary to move away from the predictive system to drive change in a sustainable way

If we look for a moment at how organizations manage transformation projects, we always see the same recurrence. The project, whether it is digital, methodological or a process evolution, is considered as an end in itself. Indeed, we manage projects with a well defined retro-planning and an allocated budget. Both being not always held.

Today, change management is essentially part of this type of defined project. Its deployment is therefore limited to a budget but above all to a time frame. Change is best managed throughout the project period, at worst, only during the deployment of the tool or methodology.

The problem is the belief, in my opinion, that the tool or process is the solution that will make the company more collaborative and flexible. These deployments, however necessary they may be, are only means. And the change management in these projects has no other objective than to convince employees to use: "Get on board! Anyway, you don't really have a choice. ». It is difficult in this case to imagine an easy appropriation and collaborative collaborators....


Change management as the company's DNA

Change management must therefore be part of a deeper organizational dynamic. Faced with ever-changing economic, social, ecological and even societal challenges, companies must focus all their energies on their ability to adapt. And I am not even mentioning here the arrival on the labour market of the Z generations, which, let us remember, simply means "zapping".

A company's ability to integrate permanent changes and transform them into real creative opportunities will probably be a determining factor for the rest of their history: "Companies, learn to evolve or disappear! ». The options seem increasingly limited... Today, believing that the solution is a specific organizational model, such as the flex office, or a tool such as Office 365 is too big a simplification and may bring more disadvantages or even risks than benefits.

If change management were more accessible to the very capacity for change, it would therefore be a question of focusing efforts on individual skills rather than on know-how. In this way, we would seek to unleash the capacity for movement of managers and employees, and restore the creative power of teams.


Making the organization more collaborative: a project to be equipped in the long term

If the company is part of a transformation project aimed at giving more freedom, promoting the creative power and agility of employees, then it will be necessary to provide tools and methods that address these issues. Today, many firms and coaches offer this kind of sustainable support where soft skills are the focus.

I can mention in particular the use of theatrical improvisation that I bring to the Conseil et Organisation firm. The art of improvisation has as direct benefits to foster trust, letting go, cohesion and active listening: essential skills for a team that wants to be collaborative. I could also mention music, co-development, storytelling techniques...

In short, there is no shortage of techniques and support of this type. But this is a real business project that requires a lot of courage and humility on the part of the management to give the teams the opportunity to discuss the means and even the objectives of their work and functioning. It will probably have to be accepted that the sporadic projects currently being carried out (tools, methodologies, work organisations, etc.) are only a few dressings on a larger transformation and that the only way to make your company evolve is to entrust it to all the organisation's stakeholders.


Conseil & Organisation a consulting and operational assistance company in the management and management of collaborative and community ICT projects.

Julien Trefeu

Associate director

Conseil & Organisation


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