Killing Change Managers

Another day, another cake. In this case some Marks & Spencer Millionaire shortbread which comes in nice little squares that simply demand you have more than one; especially when you are drinking as much tea and yakking for as long as we were.

The subject was the term “Change Manager”, a term that describes an individual or company who descend on another company to manage significant alterations to the organisation. Basically, they turn up to close the place down.

It’s not a phrase I’d heard before, but just over a year ago while we lunched with another contractor employed at our inspirational quango, she mentioned it and started to tell some funny stories. This was in many ways the genesis for the entire book, which is why “Change Management” has stuck in every synopsis and short description we’ve produced to date. Whenever we describe Kate’s firm, they are Change Managers.

The problem is that every time either of us describes the book to anyone, something we try to do at every opportunity, it always starts “The main character is a career woman called Kate Smith. She’s got her own Change Management company” and the words stick in the throat. While this might be the correct term, it’s not in common usage and sounds dreadfully clunky – you can almost hear the thump as it hits the floor every time it leaves your lips.

So, Change Management will get a brief look-in in the text, but we’ll just gloss over exactly what they do and if required employ the more common term “Management Consultants”. People have heard of them and best of all, not in a positive way, which is sort of what we want. If you are to identify with the people at HIA who are being change managed from open to closed, then it helps if we lumber the team coming in to do this with a negative term. After all we all hate management consultants don’t we ? Unless you are one of course, in which case, stop reading this and concentrate on steering your BMW before you hit something !

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