Change Manager as Navigator (Controlling Some IntendedOutcomes):In this image of a change manager, control is still the central concept. However, this image dictates that “although change managers may achieve some intended change outcomes, they may have little control over other results.” (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022). An example is a change manager wanting to set up a specific team to streamline a process. The team may be set up according to how the manager intends to, but producing effective outcomes from that team may be difficult based on various external circumstances. The manager must then be able to “identify options, accumulate resources, monitor progress, and navigate a way through this uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity.” (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022).
Change Manager as Caretaker (Controlling Unintended Outcomes):As seen in the Navigator image, the Caretake image is also a role centered around control. However, the ability and extent of the control “is severely constrained by a range of internal and external forces that propel change relatively independent of management intentions.” (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022). A manager, in this view, is seen more as helping navigate their team and organization through any unforeseen changes: rules and regulations, policies, staffing, and any bureaucratic changes that may arise. Caretakers are tasked with “shepherding their organizations along to the best of their ability.” (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2022).
While both deal with some measure of control. The Caretaker image can be seen more as a “reactive” image, and the Navigator does, to some degree, have a “proactive” image. Navigators can lay down a set plan but would need to make decisions based on unplanned circumstances. Caretakers simply react to any changes without truly setting any plans.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Buchanan, D. (2022). Managing organizational change: A multiple perspectives approach (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.