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Conclusion

The headline “change failures” grabs attention, but change is a substantial portion of what management does today. Businesses need robust data on their (SOCKS) performance to understand realistically where they fall on the Change Master–Change Novice scale. The idea that organizations are static, and change is episodic, is harmful, and it means that change skills are greatly undertaught in the business community. The soft-hard split between people issues and “real” issues is harmful, and even this language suggests the people stuff is less important.

We should euthanize change management: If we had great, inspiring, change leadership skills through the management pool, there would be much less need for tactical change management. The world is not ready for that because change management (and related subjects) is just a tiny portion of traditional management education, not reflecting the reality that most of a manager’s role today is change-related.

The next chapter looks at how the world today might be different and how some leading businesses face up to the challenge of change-agility.

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