As I mentioned in my last blog, I have had several interesting consulting engagements recently and they have provided me some great experiences to share via this blog. I guess it just makes sense that most business leaders ask for consulting help because they are struggling with some type of change that they feel is needed or in further definition or implementation of that change. When I hear business leaders or their senior teams talking about change like a project, it always causes me to focus first on getting those business leaders to understand that change is not a project like a business IT system upgrade.
I recently had a consulting opportunity where the CEO was very clear on most of the changes his business needed to make both organizationally as well as operationally. His issue was not understanding what was needed but it was clear that his problem was not knowing how to really lead his business/team to accomplish the changes necessary. One of the biggest issues with his approach to change was that he expected it to have a beginning and an end. Great businesses are lead by great leaders and great leaders are clear that change is a constant event with no beginning and end, especially when it comes to organizational competence and operating efficiency. So, I hope you can get why I feel so strongly as the title of this blog says, you have to continually lead change versus building teams, projects and organizations to manage change.
I guess you could argue that some changes are managed such as restructuring or expansions but when you talk about growth, development or fulfilling a vision those long term changes must be led not managed. Leaders who believe that change is a constant leadership challenge will always get the most from their efforts.