What Is Context-Sensitive Change Management?

One of the main reasons why aready for 50 years digital transformation and change management programs in large organizations fail is because management consultants and management professors at universities and business schools stick to the ‘holy cow’ of applying collaborative change as the one-size-fits-all change strategy to changing a large bureaucratic organisation. Sometimes called ‘the fat firm’ or ‘large dinosaurs’.

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Real leaders in digital transformation and change management for organizations of difference sizes and with different structures in the organizational design use context-sensitive change management as effective and efficient change strategy to design and build a Lean & Mean AI-powered organization just-in-time.

Context-sensitive change management refers to an approach that acknowledges the various external and internal factors influencing how organizations undergo and organize change. While traditional change management consultants still advocate the one-size-fits-all approach of collaborative change, context-sensitive change consultants recognize that different situations require different approaches to the change management process.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Focus on Context: It emphasizes understanding the specific circumstances surrounding the change, such as developments in the external environment including as a conequence of the democratization of AI and internal factors factors like misalignment of the current organizational design including the current culture, the current structure and the current predominant leadership style.
  • Tailored Strategies: Based on this understanding, change management strategies are tailored to better address challenges and leverage opportunities.
  • Increased Success: By considering the context, this approach aims to improve the likelihood of successful change implementation by chosing and implementing thebest change strategy on time.

For instance, a company implementing a new software system might need a more hands-on training approach for a less tech-savvy workforce compared to a younger, more digitally familiar team.

Basically, it means that depending on the external developments and the internal situation with respect to internal alignment of the existing organizational design, a different approach to the best change strategy given the situation has to be chosen and applied fast.

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Including for instance the culture or the structure as important internal organizational obstacles for change innovation, creativity and productivity in large bureaucratic organizations or any other type of organization of different sizes (startups, scaleups and SMEs). The good news is that there are many different ways to improve productivity by using AI next to improving existing processes:

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Depending on the external and internal situation, different types of ‘treatment’, different types of solutions, meaning a different change management intervention has to be chosen and applied.

The main criteria are how much time you have given the external environment (the ‘weather’) and the design and the state of your very large ship (The Titanic). Do you have time to make changes to the design of the Titanic after it safely arrives in the harbour of destination. Or are you with your ship in survival mode (you ran on an iceberg) and the ship is sinking slowly (you have a slow burnrate) or even fast (you are at the end of your financial runway).

These situations require different remedies. different change strategies and a different leadershipstyle incudng diffeent leadership skills of the captain and senior management as part of situational leadership skills.

In any case, including in a crises, implementing hybrid working, working at home and virtual teams is the best organizational structure for any type of organization:

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