• Simon Phillips

Change Management isn’t rocket science … it’s much more complex than that


Our solution to the problem of managing change in a VUCA culture was the result of listening to change managers and their problems and a collaboration between 2 Change Makers."

We asked David Walker and Nicky Carew about their inspiration for their chapter in "Change Wisdom" dealing with change in a VUCA world..

David said: “A client started a conversation puzzling that their familiar and trusted change management process just never seemed to quite solve the problem. Their debate was about how much managing change is an art or science. Of course it is neither and both! There are so many change issues that can’t be resolved satisfactorily by following a fixed process and most change needs a “structured-Art” mindset. From there, our WICKEDD was born! We have given structure to managing change in this VUCA world, where prescriptive change approaches, unbending strategy, tools and techniques will not achieve the desired result. VUCA issues are unlikely ever to be wholly tamed.”

Nicky agreed. “And of course we must put our best minds to getting the best result. So often we are rewarded for solving problems in a binary way - here’s a problem -fix it! But increasingly our organisations are dealing with more complex issues - think you have fixed this symptom but the problem just shifts somewhere else. We make an analogy of physics versus biology - so many issues in a VUCA world develop like biological ecologies, when something changes it affects the rest of the environment in an unpredictable way, whereas traditional management approaches still try to adhere to ‘rules’, similar to the laws of physics. These laws taken in isolation will never work. Whilst everything they have learned about change is still valuable it means a more creative and collaborative approach. That is what WICKEDD is - a framework to guide us through making sense of this complexity and creating positive change.”

David summed up why WICKEDD has changed the way we deal with complexity “Our thinking is about unboundaried change rather than ‘agile’ change. Using the WICKEDD approach provides the wrapper that supports your thinking and approaches, where setting the general direction of change activities leads to improvement in control of the VUCA issue, recognising that a final solution is unlikely to ever appear with wicked VUCA issues.”


David Walker and Nicky Carew wrote their chapter in "Change Wisdom". See their article.

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