Last night my eldest daughter, home from University, persuaded me to watch the latest Harry Potter movie that’s just out on DVD. Having never read the books and only seen one of the previous movies I was, of course, hopelessly lost. For those of us for whom the little wizard is not an essential part of our lives, it is impossible to understand the hold it has over some people. For others, like my daughter, the series matches their own life. They have literally grown up alongside Harry for the 14 or so years that it has been going. Familiarity provides a comfort and a security from the the many changes of life.
And so is it any wonder that many change programmes fail. From the outset people view change as a threat; as a disorder to their comfortable order. Leaders too often impose change from the top onto their people. Change shouldn’t be a programme. Change should be a constant. Organisations could learn a lot from the success of Harry Potter. Leaders should see their role as creating the climate in which change can happen. Allow progress to be the norm; to evolve and grow, just like Harry and his friends. Oh, and tell the reasons for the change as a proper narrative. After all, everyone likes a good story.