“Panta rhei” - “Everything flows”. These were the words used by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (550-480 B.C.) to describe the changing nature of things. It is a remark which can also easily be applied to the evolution of today’s companies, albeit that corporate change is an extraordinarily multi-layered and complex process which covers not only questions about product and marketing strategy but also about how the management is organised or the further development of the quality awareness of the staff, for example. Such transformational processes regularly present the management with difficult challenges, and how it gets to grips with them decides the future prospects of the company in question. Whereas successful changes form the basis for further growth, failed change processes can lead to the liquidation of the company in unfortunate cases. This sentence taken from the British magazine “The Economist” clearly illustrates this problem: “Anyone who tells you it is easy to change the way people do things is either a liar, a management consultant, or both.”
The multiplicity of mergers, reorganisations, strategic realignments, programmes for change and improvement, etc. show the importance which is attached to the goal-directed management of corporate change. Current issues such as digitalisation, Industry 4.0, agile organisation, quality awareness and many more show that the maxim that holds today more than ever is: Business as unusual. Managers in particular must be able to deal with this challenge in a goal-directed and professional way, provide their staff with clear guidance, and demonstrate how to make their company fit for the future.
As the Institute of Change Management and Innovation (CMI) we have spent more than twenty years investigating current issues relating to innovation, change and quality management. We focus on carrying out national empirical studies and providing specialist methodological support to commercial enterprises and non-profit organisations. To this end, our team of ten, comprising economists, psychologists, engineers and physicists, successfully tackles interdisciplinary problems and develops concrete ways of solving them.