Change management, a discipline popularised in the 1980s, is under scrutiny. Critics argue that it is outdated, ineffective, and lacks scientific validity. Its origins in the social sciences, particularly Kurt Lewin’s change theory, are being questioned for their relevance in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Change management’s core premise is that change can be managed, planned, and controlled. However, this notion is challenged by the unpredictable nature of today’s business world. The rise of digital technologies, globalisation, and the increasing pace of change have made it more difficult for organisations to predict and control change.

Despite its flaws, change management remains prevalent in organisations due to its simplistic and linear approach. It provides a comforting illusion of control in uncertain times. However, this approach can be detrimental, leading to complacency and a lack of agility.

Many suggest the need for a new approach that acknowledges the complexity and unpredictability of change. This approach should promote adaptability, resilience, and innovation, rather than attempting to control change. It should also be based on evidence and scientific research, rather than outdated theories.

The future of change management is uncertain. What is clear, though, is that it needs to evolve to remain relevant and effective in today’s complex business environment.

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