You can't use a hammer when a screwdriver is needed

The new world of organisational change management

Hammers for nails

In the world of organisational change management, practitioners have a ream of tools at their disposal.

They have served us well. They were hammers for nails.

Hammers for screws

Today, however, is a different story.

I am observing, across many organisations, practitioners struggling to use those tools in a landscape that is fundamentally changing.

hammer and screw.jpg

We are now living in world subject to constant change that is increasing in velocity. It is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

Our world is becoming increasingly ‘agile’ where delivery of change is rapid, iterative and adaptive.

Whereas we used to know categorically what project outcomes would look like and when they were going to be delivered, we no longer do.

We used to be able to determine the ‘what’s in it for me and when’ and hone our stakeholder communications and engagement around that. We cant anymore.

We may know the overall objective of an agile delivery but the outcomes (what is delivered and when) will change often and often at increasing speed.

The days of in-depth change strategies, communications plans, engagement plans, resistance management plans, reinforcement plans and training plans are gone. They are hammers when we need a screwdriver.

By the time we have created those strategies and plans and got the appropriate sign-off and approval – the project has moved on and what we have produced is no longer relevant. The train has left the station!

A new toolkit

What we need today is an updated toolkit that not only has adaptations of our hammers but also new tools suited to a world of constant, rapid and iterative change. We need a toolkit that equips us to deliver organisational change management outcomes at the same cadence as agile project delivery.


We still need plans but they are FASTER – fluid, accessible, simple, transparent, evocative and relevant ©.

We still need to understand our stakeholders but we need more effective and efficient ways to do it

We need new communication, engagement and collaboration methods but ones that are suited for a world in which constant change is the new black.

What’s in your toolkit?

Do you need to replenish your toolkit with tools designed to meet the demands of rapid and iterative change?

Do you want to know more about tools such as lean coffee, blast radius, personas, empathy maps, influencer maps, change canvases and scorecards and many more for immediate use?

Do you want to learn in an interactive, hands-on environment?

Yes? Then check this out.

Karen FerrisComment