Change – should it be pushed or pulled?

When implementing an improvement to transform your organisation, is it more important to push or to pull change? Is it more important to be clear about the need to move away from the existing organisation or to be focussed on implementing something new?

Of course the answer is both but what is important is understanding why this is so in order to get the right balance in the management of change.

A change that appears to be driven by the focus on implementing a new system, idea or organisation – a pull change – can appear like a pet project. People in the organisation will question why the change is being made and will say that it appears as though change is being made for “change’s sake”. The appropriate antidote to this is to create a felt need for change – the shared reason why the organisation cannot stay as it is.

A change that is driven by the need to move forward – a push change – but which is not underpinned by a vision of the future will lack clarity.  The organisation will ask where it is all going – “without vision the people perish”.  Developing and sharing a vision of the future is an essential part of any transformation.

To be successful in leading transformational improvement make sure you have both the push and pull of change. The change process will be best started by developing the felt need to change but it will only deliver with the pull of a clear, ambitious but achievable vision.

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