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Change Management, Continuous Improvement, Viewpoint!

Fad-surfing and the Hype Cycle!

I am grateful to Michael Allen of TalkFreely for sending me a link to information on Gartner’s “Hype Cycle” model.  According to their website “Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.

Gartner has Hype Cycles for a wide range of technology topics, but I gave up counting at the letter C with over 30 topics including “Big Data”, “Business Process Management” and “Cloud Computing”.

The Hype Cycle model looks similar to the Kubler-Ross change curve which describes the steps people typically go through in any change process (although it originated in bereavement counselling).

Each Hype Cycle goes through five stages:

  1. Technology Trigger
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectations
  3. Trough of Disillusionment
  4. Slope of Enlightenment
  5. Plateau of Productivity

While the Hype Cycle is primarily focused on technology, it seems equally applicable to many of the management fads we have seen come and go over the years.  Take your pick of the silver bullets senior management teams have picked up, expecting miraculous performance transformations:

  • Quality Circles
  • TQM
  • ISO 9000
  • BPR
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • EFQM
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Agile

You might like to read some of my Performance Management articles that set some of these approaches in context.


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