Change management is a loosy-goosy term

The term “change management” unnerves me. It claims to describe what seems to be a highly amorphous field (See my post of May 15, 2005: change management at the NLRB.). Even so, I have written about aspects of change in law departments.

Most of my comments dwell on the obstacles to change (See my post of Sept. 3, 2008: behavior change; March 26, 2008: changes of policies and resulting consequences; June 4, 2008: hyper-change in the legal industry; May 31, 2006: fear of change; May 30, 2007: working memory and the challenge of change; April 5, 2006: pace of change in law departments; June 5, 2006: carrots and sticks; and Nov. 26, 2006: bureaucratic challenges.).

Unintended consequences crop up after most changes (See my post of Aug. 28, 2005: trade offs when actions are taken; Aug. 1, 2006: second-order consequences; Dec. 17, 2006: all practices have pros and cons; and July 10, 2007: well-intentioned actions boomerang.).

How to help bring about significant changes has gotten shorter shrift (See my post of Jan. 18, 2007: four “Ds” of change; Nov. 21, 2008: nine tips for dealing with change; and June 25, 2007: Theodore Levitt’s key question about change.).

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