“Everybody lies” says Dr Greg House. This is anathema to many managers schooled in a ‘command and control’ management paradigm. What people say and what they actually think will be different. Not getting to the heart of what people think will prevent successful transformation.
Transformation deals with systemic issues. Adaptability and agility are key to this process – being wedded to a plan and a schedule represents a risk to successful transformation. It looks at the heart of change issues – these can be social, political, economic, legal or technical.
The management response is characterised by being flexible and reacting to real problems that may change over time. The strategy may remain the same, but the tactics will change over time.
The response is to be a chameleon project manager – understand motivators for change, reinforce the change with data, accept change, try to understand ‘invisible power structures’ – how things really work. Set a direction and refine it constantly.