Evolution or revolution?
Organizations can introduce change in two ways: as revolution (radical change) or as evolution (incremental change). The approach taken is largely determined by the organization's existing culture, structure, and operations. This paper examines these two approaches and explains when each is the appropriate choice to implement. In doing so, it discusses the defining elements and key concerns of distinguishing each approach; it looks at the issues involved in implementing each approach, issues related to organizational risk tolerance and implementation costs. It also describes why organizations must focus outwards on their market and not inwards to their culture when implementing change. It lists six questions for determining if an organization's culture can support change. It then explains why organizations must develop and use both approaches to change. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: The first identifies five elements necessary for cultivating innovation; the second defines ten styles of innovati