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Some Background to the Change Model – The Steps.

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Step 1. Visionary shows the future state (where you want be) within or, more likely, outside the context of the present state (where you are now). At this stage, a team is formed and ideally the champion should chair this team. Remember, by this stage the visionary would or should have gained consensus of the community or organisation. Alliances are formed during this step.

Step 2. The team sets about understanding the current position. During this process, any number of analysis tools can be used: SWOT analysis; Bench-marking; Financial forecasting; Self-analysis. These should be kept to a minimum and are only to be used as guidelines. The more the problem is analysed, the more the target moves.

Step 3. The team will need to understand the current state (where you are today) of its own life conditions and look at the advantages that can be gained by the initiative.

Step 4. The team then takes a look at where they want to be, the future state, while recognising that they are looking forward in time and will not know all the results and effects of their decisions. As they travel along a planned route, they must recognise that the destination is likely to change. This is a need for flexibility.

Step 5. As long as agreement over the general direction is achieved then the champion can start the process of moving from the present certainty to a future which is an uncertain state. This is important as the changes spread and local champions are gained. As the change starts, confidence is gained and confusion becomes clarified.

Step 6. The barriers to change are removed allowing the transition from the present to the future. This removal is help by defining “What”, “How”, “Who” and “When” with a reflective cycle for helping further changes. Examples of different communication techniques may include: a seminar on the change, a course of training, a pilot study, a presentation.

Need – all involved have to understand the reasoning for the change why it has been started – what is the driving need to make these changes. The need will depend on the ‘hidden’ cultural values of those involved, so theses need to be understood.

Not Imposed – Buy-in – easy to say hard to do. If over 60% of people within a team or community or organisation buy-in and do not feel the changes are being imposed on them then the chances for successful changes are much higher. Imposed solutions in any environment only have a short-term benefit. The changes quickly revert to the old ways and become the reasons for failure. Recognise some changes and ideas will always drop by the wayside, their time may not be right.

Cross-Functional Team – Knowledge and ideas is not the preserve of any one person. All the little bits of knowledge held by a diversity of people have to be gathered and fitted together. The best way to do this is with cross-functional teams. The barriers and walls between have to be lowered. As introducing the changes are now part of a plan, forming the cross-functional team should be easier. The team should not be static and even the core can change – the champion provides the continuity.

Provenance* – In the antique trade, they say that the only skill needed to sell an antique is Provenance, Provenance and more Provenance. The same applies to change. A story needs to be told that can be proved to be factual. The untouchable, wanted future-state can be explained by metaphors that have empathy and solidity that convinces those involved that they are not standing on quicksand.

Champion – This is a key role in any change process. Usually, this role is undervalued or not even recognised but there is a fine line between a Champion and a Heretic. There are levels of Champion, each important to success, however this is defined.

Level 1. This is the person who has the vision and commitment – who will push on regardless. Sometimes, this can be the same person as the visionary, more usually the person who sees and takes hold of the visionary’s idea. The person needs to be astute and needs to be able to be comfortable with working with everyone. Thick-skinned, but willing to listen and change course as well as admitting when things go wrong.

Level 2. This person has ‘buy-in’ to the change and treats it as his own. They must have the ability to get things done and be professionally well respected.

Level 3. In this role, may be one of several local Champions – ‘buy-in on the change and keen to get it completed as soon as possible: a nuts and bolts person who dot the “I’s” and crosses the “T’s”. The people who make the change work.

Level 4. These are the evangelists. They may not even be part of the change but spread the word. This role needs to be identified because, if not recognised, the wrong message and negativity can be spread about the change. Level 3 local Champions are often in the best position to identify these people.

Next . . .

* – The source and ownership history of a work of art or literature or of an archaeological find.