The Drivers of Change
By Craig A. Stevens, PMP, MBB
The Third Phase of the Linked Management Models
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA
When we explain in the Westbrook Stevens Storms of Chaos Model on strategy, how each turn or change our organizational ship takes should reflect our strategies. We also explain how every change we implement requires project management. We soon discover how a Strategic Project Manager looks beyond the project being implemented to ensure that the project brings value to the organization as a whole. However, even the most calculated strategies often require participation in and the management of new and sometimes unexpected secondary changes.
“If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” Kurt Lewin,
This quote by Kurt Lewin hints at a systems approach that a Strategic Project Manager must master. One change often becomes a driver of a chain reaction of secondary changes. We might define the secondary changes as those changes driven by or necessary after another more focused change or action takes place. Many of these secondary changes are unintended consequences. However, one must not forget that some intended consequences are merely cloaked as unintended. As in chess, a good strategist thinks several steps ahead and then pretends not to. But then so does his opponent. Nevertheless, regardless of the source or intent, we often have to manage chain reactions of changes. To do this we have to understand our organization as the system it is. Here we look at the drivers of change and later in the next chapter we will dive deeper into the issues of systems engineering and systems thinking made famous by Peter Singe in the book the Fifth Discipline and how it relates to Strategic Project Management.