Article (April-2019)


Whats next after now

Aparna Sharma

Designation : -   Board Member, Thought Leader

Organization : -   Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker, Mumbai


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This is in fact the name of a book written by "Steven Harrison" focussing on the unrestricted potential of creating what is next which includes all possibilities, not just repeating the past or modifying it. This unrestricted potential suggests the New Age notion that I can create my reality is very close to true, with one slight change, and that is to leave out the I. While on one hand it may seem like a purely spiritual concept, in reality it is much more than a mere philosophy of life for one to reflect. Each organisation, every function, every employee, every profession are constantly working on/with the present products/services with an eye on the future. In fact, research led organisations are constantly focussing on "What's next". In this context, if we were to look at digital transformation as the latest wave in organisations, the moot question would be what's next for change management? What is next for organizations that have already gone through digital transformation? The reality is the need for change never stops.

Change as part of an organization's DNA

After digital transformation, businesses will realise that they simply cannot stand still, and that change cannot be reserved for change management type projects. This will mean that organizations will have to make sure that change is part of their DNA. This means everything from hiring the right people to changing the organization to make sure that it can actually cope with fast and continuous change.

Continuous improvement initiatives

Change management has traditionally been a relatively isolated project within a company which is only instigated when change is needed. However, many leading organizations are using various change methodologies in order to always be improving and changing. For many companies, this will mean that they will start to use formal change management models to implement all kinds of changes, not just large organizational changes.


Companies will have to adapt to change due to automation. Change management will be used to help organizations to adapt to automation.

Big data

Organizations are becoming more data-driven and it is becoming a reality for change management too. Big Data has become more and more important when it comes to making decisions about what organizational changes to make and how to make them. Change managers have to be able to adapt to the data-driven workplace and be able to collect and interpret data in a deeper way. Whilst change managers themselves have to adapt to change to accommodate this shift towards data, data is be a useful tool to make organizational change more accurate and predictable. It may also give rise to new models for change management.

There are of course limitations with Big Data. Like the traditional change management models, data cannot always predict the human reaction to change, so change managers still have to have a good handle on their personal skills.

In short, what I can see as the future of change management is that it will become more integrated within organizations and will be driven by data, which will transform change management into a more accurate practice, thus increasing its importance within organizations.