Study: Managing long term processes of change
When managers seek to or are obliged to make changes in an organization, they frequently encounter the so-called “double cliff” phenomenon. While top management is completely bowled over by the innovations, the enthusiasm wanes to 50% at mid-management level and dwindles to just 20% on the shop floor. Martina Nieswandt has long been fascinated by this phenomenon. We accompanied a medium-sized organization throughout a long process of change. The focus of this long-term change was on the middle management. Up until now, any research had often focused on top management. Most management training schools regard middle management as a kind of “continuous-flow water heater” – i.e. managers who will do as they are told and transform what is applied – a trivial bit of equipment, a cross between terminator and moderator of a Saturday evening TV show.
We discovered that middle management works completely differently and that the success of an organization relies almost entirely on this level. So we designed a variety of tools branded “Management Transformation tools”:
- Management audit “Middle Management Maturity”
- Management Transformation: Designing concepts for effective parameters and improving processes of change implementation
- Management Audit: Qualitative and quantitative survey modules to support cultural change