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The Red Queen hypothesis: Is this the success factor in change management?

In the book "Alice in Wonderland", there is an encounter between the girl Alice and the Red Queen. In order to survive in Wonderland, the Queen gives Alice the following advice: "In this country you must run as fast as you can if you want to stay in the same place". This saying has more depth than it might seem at first glance. It can be applied to various fields and areas of life. In biology, a scientist theorized that living beings are so involved in the race with their environment that they have to change as quickly as possible in order to survive in their habitat. It is precisely this red queen hypothesis that can also be applied to change management.

Growth through change: the Red Queen hypothesis in a practical test

Companies in the 21st century are confronted with the fact that they have to constantly rethink. Whereas in the past it was possible to rely on tried and tested processes, today processes have to be constantly rethought in order to adapt them to the changes in the respective industry. Only those who evolve in time and run as fast as they can have a chance of staying in the same place. This is the cornerstone for agile corporate development.

Companies are firmly linked to their environment

Those who do not respond to the constantly changing framework conditions will lose out in the long run. Companies never act autonomously from their environment, but are firmly connected to it. If you simply stand still while everything around you is in motion, at some point you will simply become disconnected. This is the same in biology as it is in physics, and in Wonderland as it is in change management.

Companies have the chance to actively shape the market

Another aspect goes hand in hand with the Red Queen hypothesis. Success does not only result from going with the flow, those who start moving in time and - to use the words of the Red Queen once again - run as fast as they can, have the chance to actively shape the market.

What does it take for successful change management?

For change to be implemented successfully, companies must be strengthened from within. One key to this is the employees, who must be involved in change processes. Managers are responsible for instilling in their employees a sense of responsibility for the competitiveness of their company. They must create trust and space for change. In phases of upheaval, an atmosphere of security must be created in which employees have the courage to try things out. That is the employee perspective.

Does the Red Queen hypothesis actually apply to managers as well? They, too, must adapt their leadership skills and management tools to this change. Leaders who stand still while employees and markets change can be left behind just as quickly. This makes it all the more important for leaders to constantly work on themselves and their leadership skills.

Are you in the middle of a transformation or facing a change process? Then our consultants, coaches and trainers are at your side to help you, your team and your company successfully cross the finish line in this development process. Contact us now!

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