A plain person’s guide to change management

Over the past two decades a generation of change managers has set out to transform organisations – from universities and companies to charities and government departments. While there has been much scholarly study of these transformations (vide Dilbert et al) there has been no simple guide to what change managers do.

This guide has been prepared to remedy that lack. Change managers:

  1. Announce soon after arrival, and before any analysis which might cloud judgments, that the organisation must face up to the new competitive environment and must change to survive.
  2. Sack significant numbers of incumbent managers and replace them with friends and colleagues from previous jobs.
  3. Increase the number of both middle managers and management levels giving new managers titles such as Organisational Capability Development Manager.
  4. Ensure none of the new managers have definable line management accountabilities or job descriptions written in English.
  5. Objectify the people the organisation is set up to serve. Eg citizens become customers of government departments while students and courses at universities become clients and services.
  6. Announce a major re-organisation to affect change and confront the challenges of the competitive environment.
  7. Identify another agency or group with which to merge, form strategic alliances or generally hold meetings with.
  8. Retrench as many operational staff as possible, singling out in particular anyone with detailed knowledge of how systems actually work.
  9. Introduce a culture based on continuous meetings and managerial Newspeak while insulating all managers from any operational realities.
  10. Identify any centres of excellence or international best practice in the organisation, close them down and outsource the function to someone more expensive and less effective.
  11. Promulgate changes to any systems which effectively meet client/customer needs.
  12. Introduce a completely untried IT system designed to integrate all existing systems and produce massive productivity savings.
  13. Sack any operational staff who had not previously taken redundancy packages for the failures in these changes to systems and the IT implementation.
  14. Announce another major re-organisation to enhance effectiveness and focus more effectively on change.
  15. Move on to next job, before the organisation goes into critical state and after including in CV details of change management expertise, to start the process all over again.