Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Nobody needs Continuity Champions

Thomas A. Stewart, the editor of Harvard Business Review, signals a new trend on the horizon: continuity champions. Although change is sexy, challenging and a job for heroes, it has also a way of swalowing a company's attention and resources. Still, it's more glamorous to be Napoleon (who gained and lost an empire in little more than a decade) than Hadrian (who gave the Roman empire a stability that endured for generations). Therefore, according to Stewart, continuity needs and deserves champions, too. They should:

  • Protect the image of core business,
  • Identify the forces of continuity,
  • Keep legacy business sound,
  • Maintain communication between new and legacy business, and
  • Define what lies outside the reach of change.

I would argue the standard vested interests supported by mankind's reluctance to change, particularly when not involved in the change, are strong enough to prevent change from occurring too fast.

Can you remember reading about a company adapting too fast to change?