More Ways to Say “Change Management”

There are a lot of synonyms for change. We are in the “m’s” now:

Metamorphosis Management

Horizontal Change’s most popular post End State Focus uses a butterfly as an example of a change worth imagining and getting to (for the caterpillar in the metaphor).

Lots of change is transformational.

Were I to use Metamorphosis Management as a term it would be sparingly (not just because it is a little clunky). In the same way the word transformation needs to be used carefully. Both are one state to the next. Neither necessarily has transition spots in between. Maybe the cocoon, maybe some distinct spot in the timeline of behavior change for a stakeholder.

The carefulness in the use of the term should come from the knowledge that complete transformation constantly compared to the initial state makes no sense. The caterpillar has no idea what it means to be a butterfly. So comparisons make no sense, and so too “transitions”.

Good Metamorphosis Management would have stakeholders seeing, feeling, understanding and imagining being in, end states. There own little butterfly metamorphosis.

Modification Management

This one jumps out as something that might have to do with change that requires new behavior. Although on second thought that is a little psychologically creepy.

What this could be a term for is the process of tweaking lots of small things to make something bigger stronger and better.

It might be technical modification for change. It might be small behavior modification (simple things like shorter coffee breaks- or better, same length but always in conversation). It might be pattern and habit change, both for people and behaviors and for structural status quo.

Modulation Management

I admit I had to look up the actual meaning of modulation (I was close). One is to regulate proportion. The other to change pitch and tone in music.

Oh so many times proportions are controlled for change. Budget has its own modulation dial. Effort from stakeholders has an invisible dial (good luck finding it and getting it to actually work when you do). Leaders certainly modulate their ownership of change. Practitioners do not always modulate their communication- yes you CAN over communicate.

There are lots of times when I wish I had a modulation dial for change so I could do a little Modulation Management. I would sometimes turn things up and other times down. In rare cases stakeholders figure things out and do that on their own.

The tone version is to regulate silly sense of urgency. Urgency that appears on its own (I like to call excitement and sense of purpose) doesn’t need much management. You could say that kind has the perfect pitch.

Mutation Management

Mutation Management is funny.

This must be what you do when things get out of hand.

When the evolution of mistakes, missteps and wasted effort increases beyond your ability to control you need Mutation Management.

When the organization has grown arms, legs and tentacles that really serve no function and do not belong, the change itself may be an exercise in the management of mutations.

Novelty Management

I know what this one must be.

Too many ideas. Too many “cooks in the kitchen”.

Or maybe it is practitioners, or worse newly “named” internal consultants, trying stuff.

Believe me when it comes to change and the necessity to get to end states the novelty of new stuff to practice and try wears thin.

That is when you need Novelty Management.

It would nicely reward effort while directing energy and participation into places that tie into end states.

Today is our change synonym list for some big change, little changes, alien changes and the flood of ideas. The list gives us some new terms for “change management”.

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