On Shaking Things Up

By Mark Vickers

No, it's not just your imagination. The pace of change really is speeding up in organizations all over the world. At least, that's the opinion of 82% of respondents to the 2006 Agility and Resiliency Survey, a global poll of organizations commissioned by the American Management Association (AMA) and conducted by the Human Resource Institute (HRI).

It isn't only the pace of change that's increasing, either. Change itself is undergoing a transformation, becoming increasingly disruptive. About seven out of 10 of the 1,472 respondents said that their organizations had experienced disruptive change that is, severe surprises or unanticipated shocks over the previous 12 months. Although 29% said it amounted to only minor disruption and organizational impact, about 40% characterized such disruptions as affecting core operations, necessitating a major shift in strategy, challenging the overall vision and mission, or even threatening long-term viability and existence.

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