Forgotten Questions of Change

I’ve been thinking about and observing organizational change for a very long time.

It seems to me that –in their enthusiasm for efficiency, planning, “managing” change– people often overlook some critical questions.

A handful of questions that could lead to more effective action, but seldom get asked:

  • What is working well now, that we can learn from?
  • What is valuable about the past that is worth preserving?
  • What do we want to /not/ change?
  • Who benefits from the way things are now?
  • Who will lose (status, identity, meaning, jobs…) based on the proposed new way?
  • How will this change disrupt the informal networks that are essential to getting work done?
  • How will this change ripple through the organization, touching the people and groups indirectly effected?
  • What holds the current pattern in place?
  • How can we dampen this change, if it goes the wrong direction?
  • What is the smallest thing we can do to learn more about this proposed course of action?
  • What subtle things might we discern that tell us this change is going in the right direction…or the wrong one?
  • What is the time frame in which we expect to notice the effects of our efforts?

What questions would you add?

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