How to Manage Complex Change with People First

Agility = the power of moving quickly and easily (

To adapt to new and emerging situations, complex change demands an agile approach.

Think about it – by the time you communicate your change strategy, something significant could have changed. Hence, need for agility.

Relational – concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected (

Remote teams, virtual communication and working across matrices increase the complexity of work relationships.

Nevertheless, it’s never been harder nor more important to connect to the people you collaborate with and lead.

Regardless of your change management approach, success at an individual, team or organizational level depends on the quality of your work relationships.

Therefore, if you want to effectively manage complex change, you’ve got to start with people and relationships first. Hence, a relational approach.

3 Reasons Why Relational Organisational Gestalt Works:

1. It’s agile, not fixed.

As established, the fields of People Development and Change have grown increasingly complex.

Fixed, one-size-fits-all methodologies no longer work to manage complex change.

Therefore, an agile approach is needed to “tackle the uncertainty and uniqueness of emergent change situations”.

2. It’s supportive, not manipulative.

Guided by The Paradoxical Theory of Change, it aims to supports others to become more of who they are, not who they are not.

Moreover, “Gestalt treats human complexity as an asset to be harnessed.”

No manipulation, no resistance.

3. It’s holistic and relational, not partial or transactional.

Influenced by Gestalt theory, it incorporates relevant principles from philosophy (Dialogue) and Organization Development (Systems Theory).

Above all, it’s an approach which is anchored in a firm understanding of human behavior with an emphasis on our interconnectedness.

Humans make connections. Machines make transactions.


An agile, relational change management approach is superior to a traditional one because one-size-fits-all methodologies no longer work to manage complex change nor messy work relationships.

Therefore, find a way to make your change management approach agile with your people front and center.

For more on ROG and why “The HOW Is More Important Than The WHAT”.

How do you approach complex change?

  • Steven Hunt says:

    Tim, Love the way you connect Beisser’s Paradoxical Theory of Change to supportive, non-manipulative change. A very pertinent point for change implementation.

    • Timothy Nash says:

      Thanks, Steven! BTW, have you seen the new HBR article The Feedback Fallacy? It simply reenforces Beisser’s Theory which is now almost 50 years old:).