“Precisely because change is a constant, the foundation has to be extra strong”
– Peter Drucker – Management Challenges from the 21 Century.
Both Continuity and Change happen on purpose and by accident and most of us put a lot of effort into managing or reacting to them. The key is to balance these two. How do you know your organization can balance any change needed while maintaining business continuity? There is a common denominator for both and developing this with in your organization is the “foundation” that Peter Drucker is referring to in this quote.
Lets first define each
Continuity (business) -process to insure that critical business functions will continue in standardized fashion. Policies, Procedures and Risk Management efforts build around protecting the organizations core mission or that products will continue to operate despite interruptions, incidents or disasters. This falls under a category of Risk Management because it protects your organizations interests and the 3 primary focuses are Resilience, Recovery, and Contingency. This also effectively protects a company through Change.
Change– essentially focuses on transition of any size or scale. Change Management focuses on how people and teams are affected by an organizational transition. It deals with many different disciplines, from behavioral and social sciences to data and technology, and business solutions.
The common denominator is information. How an organization chooses to share information is pivotal to the success or failure of Change and Business Continuity. Peter Drucker is simply saying that in order for things to stay the same (Continuity) or for a transition (Change) to work as expected there needs to be adequate shared information as to why it is happening and what needs to be done differently to make this happen.
Now a days this is management 101, sharing the right information with people (both associate to supervisor AND Supervisor to associate) the Why, the What or the How is the foundation needed in a sustainable organization. I doubt this is a revelation to anyone reading this, yet a vast majority of the time that a problem occurs it can be traced back to incomplete information sharing. Which is why it is considered a foundation.
Challenge – When you make a decision or a Change, ask yourself “Who needs this information to make this work?”