Everything Changes. All the Time.

In response to my last blog post, LinkedIn member Neil Meredith wrote: “…everything changes all the time and effective change is managed.”

Let’s pursue the question: “What are the implications for Change Managers?”

If everything changes all the time, one might ask, What do we need Change Managers for then? Maybe it’s the term ‘managers’ that we need to replace. What other words could we substitute?

One of my favorite people in the career transition space is Hannah Morgan of careersherpa.net. Her motto is: “Expert in navigating extreme career terrain.”

According to wikipedia, the term Sherpa refers to people who are employed as guides for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas. “They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain.”

She says:

“Embarking on a job search is like preparing to climb a mountain. Maybe not Mt. Everest, where sherpas are found, but you will still need a guide to show you the best paths and methods for making the trek. The terrain can be tricky and unfamiliar so you will want someone to show you the way. So if you are ready to prepare for your adventure and you need some help, you’ve come to the right place.”

Can we take a page from her? What if we said:

Embarking on a change project in your organization? It’s like preparing to climb a mountain. You may encounter extreme terrain and conditions. You will need a guide. A sherpa will show you the best path and methods for making the trek successfully. Why? The terrain can be tricky and unfamiliar. The weather can shift dramatically in an instant. You can easily get lost. So you will want to have someone you can rely upon to show you The Way.

For me, this role description feels right. When I have been a change facilitator, I have definitely felt more like a sherpa than a Manager.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on July 16, 2013

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