Skip to main content

Faculty & Research


How to Embrace Complex Change

Journal Article
Denise Wang felt settled in her life in London. She had a great job as the divisional marketing chief at a UK-based consumer goods company; a supportive husband, Phil, who was a partner in an international consultancy; and two daughters, eight and 10, who had for the previous three years attended the same school in their neighborhood. The family had good friends and an excellent au pair, and Phil's Belgian parents were able to visit, and host them, frequently. But then Denise (whose name was changed to protect her privacy) heard some news that disrupted that idyll. Her company was looking for someone to lead its expanding Singapore office. It was the type of role she had always wanted. She'd worked in the Asian city-state for 12 years -- that's where she and Phil had met -- and still had a strong network there. The couple had always talked about going back someday. Had the time come? Could she and her family effectively manage such a significant change? For ambitious, talented executives working in dynamic global businesses, big career transitions -- to new roles, organizations, industries, or geographic locations -- are a fact of life. So is the need to constantly adapt to new technologies, work groups, strategies, and ways of thinking and behaving.

Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour