Change triggers powerful emotions that lead to seismic shifts in organizational structures. For better or worse, we are always evolving. Embrace the future.
Change is the main theme of this issue. Today’s leaders are living in a world of constant change. When change is ubiquitous, is it a change or a new normal? “Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are,” said Bertold Brecht, and he had it very right. In most industries, market rivalry becomes more – not less – intense. The Red Queen’s race is everyday life for many of us: it takes all the running we can do to keep in the same old place.
Black swans arise. Gradual but disruptive social and ecological changes blindside us all too often. Technological and scientific breakthroughs may leave
us to procrastinate which direction to take.
As a professor of the “leading change” courses, I constantly meet one deceiving paradigm: we will focus on the long run, as soon as this change is
tackled and the situation is over. But the fact is it won’t be over. Ubiquitous change is the new normal, and general management often equals change management.
We should not conceive change management as a technique and a close relative of crisis management, but, rather, a set of managerial skills and organizational competences that help us navigate both in turbulence and in a matrix of fine-grained parallel changes.
All this poses new challenges – changes – to business schools and executive education institutions. How to incorporate the concepts of uncertainty, emergence, agility and fluidity into a discipline, so committed to the ideals of long-term planning, permanent structures and budgeting?
The solution should not be about new modules or electives, but about a fundamental change in the way both teachers, students and practitioners perceive their premises: as ever-changing instead of temporarily shaking. Nevertheless, the need for management and leadership development is not in decline but in increase. Chance favors the prepared mind, as Louis Pasteur put it, and there is no better way for preparation than ongoing exploration, absorption and enriching interaction.
Aalto EE’s mission is to create a better world through better leadership. We offer executive education that helps individuals and organizations take the best out of change. In our offering, you can find topics like Future Leadership or Leading Change, which provide the latest ideas in this area. Totally new concepts are the Aalto Leadership Lab or Aalto Leaders’ Insight – a discussion forum on leadership. With new frameworks, mission impossible becomes closer to mission possible.
D.Soc.Sc. is the new managing director of Aalto EE starting from May 15. He also works as an adjunct professor at the Aalto University School of Economics.
Fear explained: Even people who like risk sometimes get it wrong. Before making a big decision, sleep on it. Boldness means trusting your intuition.
What have you learned about... Change as a source of innovation. Change-driven businesses. Managing change relating to mergers.
Jonathan Marks has learned that the future is about sharing - not shouting.
Working with knowledge. Changes ahead.
Social Media Manifesto. We must learn to embrace the new.
Three takes on change. Change is constant but revolutions are rare.
Changes in the brain. Grumbles in the corridor? Did the change not go through as expected?
Make the future your friend. We filled the toolbox with concrete ways you can anticipate what will happen tomorrow. While seeing the future is hard, it is definitely a skill you can learn.
History repeated. Discovering something new does not mean you have uncovered the “truth.” Change is an on-going process.