Don’t Assume

Catherine Remoussenard, senior professor in human resources and change management at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France debunks some myths about organizational change.

Don’t assume that organizations are naturally dynamic. Organizations reflect the people who constitute them — as a whole they are inclined to inertia. In part this reflects the fragmented nature of organizations. At every level and in every division, managers are making decisions that they believe only they are qualified to make.
Don’t assume that individuals will function rationally. There’s the most rational way to achieve a business objective, and then there’s the way most people in an organization tend to work: They act in their own best interests. The person responsible for managing change needs to be able to decipher the motivations behind people’s actions. That understanding can help reduce opposition to change.

See the WSJ’s Career Journal for more.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.