I was so happy to see a recent US News and World Report recommending more students take change management courses in business school. We need more expertise out here in the field. The argument the report is using? The one thing that is constant is change. So says the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. And about a million change management books.
“Experts say knowledge in this discipline – which is sometimes called “turnaround management” – is applicable within nearly all business sectors. It is particularly relevant for MBA students who plan to become entrepreneurs or who hope to enter rapidly evolving industries such as health care and tech. It’s also valuable, experts say, for business careers where an ability to analyze and solve complex business problems quickly is mandatory.”
It’s great that the need for aligning organizations and helping to engage stakeholders is critical for leadership success. Here’s how studying change management would be great for Millineals:
- You’ll relate to your future coworkers better.Change management helps you understand the underlying psychology of people including both the motivation of a company’s visionaries and the resistance of people who are frightened of a company’s transformation, says Anat Lechner, clinical associate professor of management and organizations with New York University.
- You’ll be ready if a future employer asks for help with a restructure.More likely than not, you’ll be either part of a company that gets bought out, a division that isn’t meeting its numbers, or in a business that needs a complete change in strategy. Having a change management background makes you ready to step in and play a part of the change.
- You’ll learn how to adjust business plans based on market conditions. All students should be learning how to respond quickly and intelligently to changes in their industry. “In the past, an organization could get ahead by managing change effectively. Now, if an organization doesn’t manage change effectively, it will lose in the marketplace, period.” says Lisa Barrington, a professor at another business school.
You don’t need to study the works of Heraclitus, just throw in a few change management classes in business school. Please. We need you.