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Methods

Some Background to the Change Model

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The best way to test a model is to use it and refine it. A place to start is how to handle the skills of the innovative and visionary person. This is the person who is a systemic thinker and has an ability to connect seemingly opposite and unconnected ideas. This person often has new answers to new problems, long before others are even aware of the problem.

The visionary has started thinking long before any formalised system can be introduced. If this skill is not recognised in the person it can lead to problems in a change initiative, while others are trying to find solutions that are already known to the visionary. The visionary often sets their own agenda and needs a different leadership style to meet a team agenda. Note: “visionary” is different to the “vision” in the model. The vision in the model is the ability to take the visionary ideas and make them into a practical strategy. If you prefer, a vision is a nuts and bolts visionary.

The visionary needs to:

  • Be recognised as a visionary and a person of worth and experience.
  • Be trained to gain consensus for an idea, which will start the change process. To recognise their limits and not always right
  • To listen and accept others’ ideas.
  • To be trained to communicate and not impose a solution.
  • To let people ‘reinvent the wheel’ as part of their learning.
  • To inspire confidence by showing evidence of the origins and worth of their ideas.
  • To understand the culture and change preferences under which the individual and the organisation work.
  • Be able to let go and let someone else complete the idea, be part of a team. This is not easy in the Western individualistic culture, though this slowly changing.

Unfortunately most visionaries often do not have the personality or the skills to carry out all these roles. This is where alliances need to be formed and the visionary needs to have a champion.

There are degrees of visionary – the off-the-wall scientist who needs the most protection and, at the opposite end of the scale, the incremental improvement engineer who is changing the world piece by piece.

Once the change idea (example – an organisation change) is supported then a process of introduction can be started.