Managing Change

Washington, DC, April 2nd, 2008 -- The new buzzword for the candidate to reside in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is "Change". They all want to see change, in government, jobs, commerce, even in our diet and health.

Never is a word mentioned about How this change will take place, and more important How it will be managed. One expects the next President will appoint a Change Czar to ram through a knee jerk reaction to the problems. Very much like the appointment of Karen Hughes by Bush. It will fail as it failed for Hughes!

America has borrowed trillions of dollars around the world to maintain a lifestyle of unrealistic expectations, and now the debts have to be paid, at the same time as millions begin retiring and expecting to be looked after in their old age, as promised. Government has no idea how it will manage this period of profound change. The same applies across US Industry, the people tasked with managing change are usually the least qualified in experience to achieve effective, lasting and sustainable results. The indicators for today's failures have been visible for a long time, but ignored. How can the world's only Superpower admit it has problems with management of basic functions of government, finance, employment and medical care, and most of the young managers and VP's are a product of a failed education system where cookie cutter diplomas are valued far more than real world experience.

America has embarked on a free fall without a parachute, that is driven by greed, and where ability and life experiences are replaced by sound bites, slogans, and feel-good media. Most believe the structural failures in banking, manufacturing, transportation and the critical infrastructure are only an anomaly, the Stock Market is booming, and the Good Times are coming back shortly. Young managers have been led to believe, by grossly naive twenty something Consultants from the major Accounting firms that experienced human resources in a company are easily replaced, and that saving money and increasing the bottom line are the only metrics they need watch. If you have not met your quarterly financial goals dump the oldest, highest paid and those with medical or family issues. They can always retrain or work at WalMart. In an election year the plight of these millions, losing their jobs and houses makes good sound bites. Promise them Change!

Most sources of political, financial and commercial intelligence show a lengthy period of tumultuous change ahead, where the ability to manage this transition in a global competitive environment will be the difference between success or failure of the project, division, even the corporation. Many major corporations are facing failure at worst, or chaos at best.

Highly visible change is clearly seen coming in the pharmaceutical, financial and energy sectors, as well as in the defense sector, making huge profits from unsustainable military actions. The choice for the voter in November will be between healthcare and housing, versus military aggression around the world. The economy can't support both.

The requests for presentations, intelligence and briefings on the strategy and tactics for managing the change promised by politicians, and the change forced upon us by external forces beyond our control, is reaching new highs, not seen since the days of managing the Y2K uncertainty. In fact the management of technology we all advocated back in the 1990's is appearing again, this time instead of computer technology failing we see the political system, and the financial system failing.

Many of the managers and business leaders today have never experienced a recession, and have little or no experience of international business. America has lived for too long on credit from overseas, unrealistic expectations, and flawed management theories to boost the bottom line at any cost to the workforce. The skills needed to manage change in an enterprise can't be learned from reading books about Cheese, from attending a handful of lectures from Academia, and taken in isolation.

The need is for Management of Change and the ComLinks team are there to provide facilitation and guidance.

 

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