What Nobody Asks in Change Projects: What Should Stay the Same?

When I am involved in change projects I usually start with my clients by trying to define a clear and, as far as possible, unambiguous vision for what the organisation will look like after the change. This part of the change project can be the most fun as thinking about the future, as opposed to the hard work of actually getting there, can be exciting. But in the excitement of planning the future, there is one thing that is often forgotten - what is it that makes this organisation special?

Each organisation has something, or more often many things, that are special about them. It may be the people, processes, some specific assets, or the culture. Whatever it is, this is something valuable that makes the organisation the success it is.

Change projects can often result in unintended consequences. Unfortunately, those consequences include damaging what is special about the organisation. Change projects can create huge benefits, but they can also have unintended costs. My thinking on how to avoid this problem is encapsulated in my new article “What should stay the same".

This article has been published on the British Library’s management portal at: Managing change: the key question that is rarely asked.

As always feedback and comments are appreciated.