Insights / Change is the only constant

Change is the only constant

07 December 2021

The Greek philosopher Heraclites said it in his day: 'Change is the only constant'. Everything changes in the world. Those changes are a given, as is the fact that they will always come.

The first time I was confronted with this quote was in 2009. During a management meeting, a speaker used this quote to explain all the changes following the banking crisis at the time.

For me, it was a feast of recognition at that moment, because it simply confirmed what I had already experienced in my working life.

So how nice it is to be able to give second-year Business & IT Management (BIM) students from the ICT Institute of Utrecht University of Applied Sciences this knowledge and experience now. That gives them a few years' head start.

That they learn quickly is proven by the course of the project they carried out in the context of change management. Their task was to devise solutions and a change strategy for the introduction of hybrid working. The technical ideas, of course, sprang from the outset: VR glasses, Teams -plus, gaming, etc.

Their evaluation showed where their learning point lay. 80% frankly admitted that the change process was the hardest to think through.

That this is not just a problem for students became clear from a presentation I received from Marc-Jan Kraaijenzank. He is a change expert and notes the following:

  • 70% of change processes do not achieve their objectives
  • Many managers and employees struggle with organisational change

In his vision to break this, he points to the three layers in an organisation, the formal organisation, the informal organisation and the organisational dynamics of the individual.

His conclusion was therefore simple, every change in an organisation begins and ends with the people and how they are positioned in the organisation.

The above has been proven by years of research, but the second-year college students did a good job and ran into this problem after only 10 weeks, and started looking for solutions there.

If you combine this with Digital Transformation, which is by definition a change project for the organisation, it underlines the additional complexity. A Digital Transformation is so much more than a technical implementation.

Is that fun, you might ask as a BIM student? My answer is a resounding YES. People have made technology to be used by people. In other words: technology is the means and people are the goal. In these projects, you are working with the most important thing, the people.

At Strategy Alliance, we have also recognised and acknowledged this in our Realize approach. 

In addition to the process of implementing a Digital Transformation, our heart, we also look at each transformation through three separate lenses to ensure that it is also a sustainable change.

Two are based on the human factor of change:

  • Leadership, understanding your organisation and leading it to its goal
  • Commitment, creating an organisation that goes to the goal together

Are you a student interested in this or would you like to discuss with us how this works in practice? Please contact me at