Some Background to the Change Model – Last Step.
Change. Once a change has started then the rate of change can become bewildering – the old landmarks begin to disappear but new ones are not in sight. If necessary, be prepared to return to the unfreezing state – let the teams spend some time to ‘reinvent the wheel’. To go forward, the change process must be kept open. Reinforce the good and progress – highlighting the achievements. Many involved in change take a critical and negative approach, finding hundreds of reasons something will fail and none why it will succeed. There is a need to be trained in how to accept and work with change – to have fun and recognise success. However, in all projects there will be a valley of despair before the goal comes into sight.
Open Freeze. The traditional change model shows that after change we should refreeze and return to a certain state again. In today’s climate, however, change is happening so fast that there is no time to refreeze and remain static. There is a need to be able to walk the tightrope between certainty and confusion.
Future State. This is the point you see when looking from the present – where you would like to be. But as you introduce the change then your future view will also change – new opportunities and threats will surface along the journey. The process must be agile enough to be able to cope with these unexpected changes. The cycle must be continuous with no end point.
Context (Future). This is the best guess of the conditions that we thought would be in there when reaching the goal. A three-year project could see a change of government; a six-month project, a change of people. Being agile, being able to cope with these changes and continually convert the Current Context and Current State into the Future Context and Future State will lead to successful sustainable change. There is a need to let the new context emerge otherwise it will lapse into short-term improvements or stop-start policies.
Step 7. Because the model is a continuous cycle to achieve the wished for changes, the change process can start at any point or at several points simultaneously. This creates a ‘Meshwork’, that informs the strategy. We can go through the eight steps in any order or even miss a step in the first cycle. For example, the present state of a community or organisation may need no unfreezing as it is a new and still forming. In step 7 we are tying up the loose ends. The visionary contributes directly to four states – Present State – Future State – Present Context and Vision. The Vision, in turn, forms the basis for the strategy for carrying out the change. Vision – Where we want to go and what it might be like when we get there.
Strategy – The – Who – What – Why and When or How we are going to achieve the vision.
Step 8. Start the whole cycle again and again and again…