Weeknotes #17

Week commencing 13th January 2020.

I’m returning to weeknotes and giving myself a fresh start. I made one borked attempt to write something over Christmas and New Year which is still sat in my drafts. Put it this way, as much time as I thought I would have, I haven’t.

Back to this week.

The week kicked off with a trip to Kettering. I headed over there as part of some supplier demo sessions for the Future Northants programme. In short, that’s the programme running to establish two new Unitary council’s that’ll cover Northamptonshire come April 2021. This week we’ve invited in a few vendors that responded to a few, relatively vague requirements to test the market for websites, CRM systems and alike.

One thing that struck me was the number of questions raised in the SMT process that hadn’t come up previously. I also re-iterated that the process is being done in completely the wrong order because we’re testing the market with no real knowledge of how the new organisations will work, what skills people will have or even what people the organisations will have. Reminder: it makes it very difficult to make informed strategic choices if your own resources are unknown.

Our question was focused on comparing change management theory and practice, not only using our own organisations to explore change management theory but equally critically evaluating the theories and counter-theories themselves. There is so much written on change management I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even a thing itself. In fact, I would argue quite strongly that it’s not a thing. In doing the research for the assignment I got incredibly overwhelmed and confused. Change management is too broad an umbrella to be a thing, encompassing; leadership, organisational development, strategic, politics, management to name only a few. These disciplines are all so intricate and niche of themselves that it’s unfair to be able to consider any theory able to describe ‘successful change management,’ particularly without an appreication of the organisations context. In a word, poppycock.

That said, there are human ways to do change and there are in-human ways to do change. If I’ve learned anything from the past few weeks of research it’s that whilst I can see the reasoning behind ‘telling people that this is the way it’s gonna be’ kind of approaches, I don’t ever really want to work somewhere, with people or be part of change that is handled in this way.

That is all right now. Out.


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