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Highlighting the distinction between Leading and Managing effective Change

A cliché or cliche (/ˈkliːʃeɪ/ or /klɪˈʃeɪ/) is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect

This is even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel. Cliché – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Peter F. DruckerEssential Drucker, Management, the Individual and Society

 When I’m asked about Leadership & Management, almost every time I start with Drucker’s attributed quotation above. These differences are important – as are a few words on cliché.

The few words around Leadership & Management are to establish they are related but different; with the relationship and difference being important to understand and act upon.

This leads me to the cliché.  Drucker’s quotation should not be a cliché; it is a very practical alert for those involved in effecting change to be aware there is a requirement for both Leadership and Management (capital L & M and small l & m).

There is a trap waiting for Leaders & Managers of Change (just one I hear you say!) The trap is that in most organisations, leadership & management are almost irrevocably intertwined, morphing into the same role.

As a little self-test around this: how many reading this can identify effective change leaders and managers in their organisations? Are these the same people? Are these the same activities, leading & managing?

In some cases, special cases, an effective change leader & manager will be one person. More than likely, the change manager will have a preference for leading or managing.

This may be a slight or marked preference. This preference in turn, is likely to affect how they run their change program.

Subsequently this is likely to affect how they engage with sponsors and those affected by change. It’s also likely that their preference will affect what they deem important during the delivery of the change program: “…doing things right or doing the right things…”

For the avoidance of doubt, my personal view is both leadership and management are required for implementing effective change.

It’s the blending, matching situational requirements while holding true to the correct mindsets & behaviors, the core values of how the organization wants things to be achieved; that’s where the real ’magic’ lies.

Top Tip

Regarding ‘magic’, it’s amazing how often ‘magic’ happens when time is given to agree how the change program is going to be delivered. The delivery of ‘magic’ is also facilitated by a people first, process second mindset. When working with hundreds of change managers, team leads and those involved with change, the challenge for effective implementation is rarely about the method of delivery but rather the people aspects of the change. Method is about management, people is about leadership. There is no ‘magic’ – it’s about mindset & behavior, corporate core values and a practical view on how to do the right things when implementing change.

 Learn more about the crucial elements that constitute a successful Change programme with one of our accredited Change Management Providers.  

Written by: Bob Black, Learning Tree International – September 7, 2016


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