‘Much organisational change is akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.’ is a variation on a quotation doing the rounds since the 1970's. Couple this with Lewin's Change Theory and we end up with the conclusion that change can be perceived as pretty scary stuff.
The beauty of rearranging deckchairs is that we don't really have to change that which makes life easy for us. We can give the impression of change but not really have to learn to do things differently. It's the same as substituting activity for action.
Picture uploaded on by Bob Jagendorf. Used with thanks under CC. (Is that a cloud or an iceberg in the distance?)
Edgar Schein fleshed out Lewin's basic model which has 3 process stages:
So why don't we get on with it and change. One of the problems is that we easily perceive change as a threat to our comfortable way of doing things, rather than the fun of doing things differently and seeing what impact it has.
One reason is that it takes a great deal of effort and it looks pretty scary when we look at it in the round.. Schein's development of Lewin's change theory looks like this
So over a few blogs we will deconstruct this into bite size pieces.