According to Palmer, there are six different images of change; director, navigator, care taker, coach, interpreter, and nurturer. (Palmer, 2017, pg 52). Two of the images that stand out to me are the director and navigator. The reason that they stand out to me is because I see myself as both of those images. I am sometimes a director and sometimes a navigator depending on how hard the change is occurring. A director is when the change is urgent and the change manager has solutions for the change. A navigator is when the the organizations culture will affect the change. Both of these are directly intertwined in change process. Both images can be the start and finish to the change process. They can help get the intended, unintended, and partly intended outcomes. Depending on where the organization is going and how they would like to go about it. Images are extremely important because it helps define the change leader and then be able to push for the outcome that is intended or unintended. As a director and navigator, I lean towards the navigator approach when I was a sales manager because I did a lot of culture change since I was going from retail store to retail store. In these retail stores, the culture was very negative. As I came in, I had to find change agents that would be able to help me bring the store forward and bring it to being positive again. In my current role as a project manager, I am a director because I tend to make the change happen as I am the liaison between all of the cross functional teams.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://redshelf.com/
1. Change Manager as Director
According to authors Palmer, Dunford & Buchanan (2017) the director image views change management as controlling and change outcomes as being achievable as long as the plan is followed exactly. The belief in this image is as long as the prescribed recipe for the desired outcomes are followed, the desired outcomes will be the result. The role of the change manager is to guide or steer the organization toward the outcomes that are desired. Essentially, the change manager assumes that they can control the outcomes of the changes.
2. Change Manager as Nurturer
In this view the change manager believes that they can encourage within the organization and this will lead to development of the necessary qualities that allow for positive self-organization, thus nurturing the organization. Additionally, the change manager in this image assumes (and understands) that small changes can have large-scale impact on an organization and that the change outcome may not necessarily be controllable. The belief is also that specific courses or outcomes cannot be produces but in stead they come about via the qualities and capabilities of the organization (Palmer, Dunford & Buchanan, 2017).
The change manager as director is almost the direct opposite of the change manager as nurturer as the change manager as director seems to ignore that small changes can have great impact and instead, they only focus on the plan and its prescribed outcomes. The plan of the director image is the be all end all and that leave no room for real time adjustments, and somewhat verifying Thijs Homan’s belief that the more you try to manage change the more it comes to a halt (Tedx, 2017); the idea being a rigid approach to change management can slow or stop the proposed/needed/desired change in and organization.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2017). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (3rd ed.).
TEDx. (Producer). (2017). The inner side of Organizational Change: | Thijs Homan | TEDxAmsterdamED [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtube.com/watch?v=3n-ciAkFgg
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