Over the past 30 years, change management has been one of the areas of greatest interest for companies. Countless change management programmes have been launched in businesses, large and small, and it would be practically impossible to find a company that has never embarked on this type of initiative.
Despite these big investments in change management programmes, if we leave aside the advent of the new technologies, the way companies work isn’t that different from how it used to be. Organisations are still overwhelmed by bureaucracy, complaining of low levels of engagement and empowerment and show a lack of propensity towards innovation—they can also be slow to implement plans or strategies.
For this reason, at Newton we believe that companies need more “management change” than “change management”. Modern companies can’t just “manage change”. They need to really think deeply about how the business is run. Modern companies can’t just “manage change”. They need to really think deeply about how the business is run.
We think that the corporate ways of working, the culture, skills and management by all need to undergo profound change to bring them into line with the complexity of today’s world.
Despite major investments in technology and the digital transformation, organisations are still pursuing two objectives which are incompatible with the current challenge of complexity: reducing uncertainty and maintaining a high level of internal control.
This is a strategy that results in low levels of engagement and poor use of human capital. This is a strategy that results in low levels of engagement and poor use of human capital. It is the fulfilling of the prophecy mentioned by Peter Drucker, one of the 20th century’s leading experts on management, in one of his last interviews: “the risk is that much of what we call management consists of making it hard for people to do their jobs”.
At Newton, the concept of change management has been transformed into management change. The objective we set ourselves in our transformation programmes is that each management action should make it easier for people to work within the organisation, making the company more flexible, faster and more competitive in a rapidly-moving world that is increasingly interconnected and interdependent.