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Change management is like wine and wineskin. You cannot put new wine in an old wineskin other wise the wineskin will burst. Likewise, in change management, it is wise to put the organization infrastructure in order first before we introduce change

On April of this year, I introduced the subject of change management. Initiating and leading his group to change is one of the inevitable tasks a leader must do. However, change management is not an easy task. Time and again, in the middle of a change process, the leader may create enemies and/or lose good people.

Though materials can be found on the net, I would attempt to add another value by sharing a time tested principle from the Bible, and apply the same in our modern day life.

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, “The old is good.” ’ Luke 5:37-39 NRSV


The new wine in the old wineskin

The fermenting of new wine builds up pressure in its container which can burst old skins (you’ll notice this when you open a corked wine bottle).

  1. new wine + old wineskin = old wineskin will burst and wine will be spilled, value negative
  2. old wine + new wineskin = it will spoil the taste of the wine, value negative
  3. new wine + new wineskin = fermentation begins, value adding


Corporate application

  1. wine = new processes, rewards system, iso certification, etc.
  2. wineskin = organizational structure, culture, office lay-out, production line, people, etc.

Any leader who wish to introduce new processes, (new wine), he must first prepare the organization (wineskin), i.e. Corporate values and culture, table of organization, technology tools, office lay-out, management team and people.

Take care of the wineskin first before storing the new wine.

Top Management Should Involve HR On The Process:

  1. Of preparing the wineskin. This may mean restructuring the organization, changing the management team, bringing in new people and removing the old ones, setting the environment, etc.

  2. Of pouring in of the new wine. Whether the change involves talent management or not, HR should spearhead the training, orienting, and setting up of support/follow through programs that will ensure the objectives of change are achieved.


How Ordinary Dudes Can Prepare For Corporate Changes?

Chances are, change will happen in any thriving and dynamic organization. The modern worker should not be attached to a thing or person. Not to his boss and peers, not to his office location or assignment, not to a car or computer etc. An attitude of openness may help the modern worker continued employment and be the least candidate for early retirement due to re-engineering, redundancy and retrenchment.


Personal Application

Anyone who wish to change a habit, attitude or add new skills, it is important to ensure that his environment and relationships are conducive to achieving the goal.

For example, non Chinese Filipinos enroll their kids to a Chinese school for them to learn fukien or mandarin. Though introducing a new language can be done, to be proficient may be a long shot if no one else speaks the same language to converse with.



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