Change within a business is inevitable, and so is the impact that it will have on its employees. The use of structured Change Methodologies to initiate change within businesses has begun to increase significantly. Their value stems from their structured and intent approach on managing the people-side of change. However, there is no one [single] Change Methodology that suits all businesses, rather research and evaluation of your business must be done to determine which Methodology suits yours best.
Why we need a Methodology:
Due to the success of a business being linked to the performance of its employees, providing these employees with tools and processes in the form of a structured Methodology can encourage and support them during the transition period. It can assist in:
- Providing structure for employees during the change.
- Allowing for successful repeatability, while also drawing on past experience [experiences] and mistakes.
- Ensuring that key aspects are seen to and that no step is missed.
Not using an appropriate Change Methodology is possible, but unadvisable. An unstructured approach threatens the successful implementation of the change, through:
- A lack of context for the processes that follow with the change.
- A lack of monitoring the success of the change, and the employees’ responses.
- Missing crucial steps which could largely hamper the success of the change.
- A wasted effort, if the change is unsuccessful.
Five common Change Methodologies:
Change Methodologies draw from numerous practises, including organisational psychology and management studies. While there are a variety of Methodologies/Models out there, the following five are common:
- The ADKAR Model: This goal-orientated approach was developed by Prosci, and stands as an acronym for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. It assists the Change Manager in understanding the needs of the individual, or business and the necessary support required.
- Lewin’s Three-Step Model of Planned Change: This three-step approach uses the analogy of a melting ice block being reshaped into a new formation. The three stages include:
- Unfreeze: A focus is put on preparing the business and its employees for the changes to come.
- Change: A hands-on-approach is taken in adapting to the changes occurring.
- Refreeze: Once the change has occurred, the business needs to adjust to the new processes and structure that comes with it.
- Kotter’s Eight Steps to Transforming an Organisation: This approach focuses on engaging people in the urgency of the change. The steps are to:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Build a guiding coalition
- Form a strategic vision and initiatives
- Enlist a volunteer army
- Enable action by removing barriers
- Generate short term wins
- Sustain acceleration
- Institute change
- Kübler-Ross’s Stages of Grief: This methodology was developed based on people’s reactions to disruptive changes and has become instrumental in understanding how change is successfully accepted in an organisation. The five stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The Change Manager needs to monitor each stage and ensure that communication and support is given throughout.
- Life Cycle Model: This three-phase model focuses on identifying, engaging and implementing the change. It is a cyclical approach and upon reaching the third phase, implementation, it will return to the first phase again.
Why we need different Change Methodologies:
Prosci has identified five key factors to consider when selecting a Methodology. They include:
- Is the Methodology easy to use?
- Is there previous experience with a Methodology?
- Has the Methodology proven to be effective?
- Does the Methodology match the need of your business?
- Does the Methodology incorporate flexibility and customisation?
Each business, and the culture and context in which changes operate, is different. Change itself is never black and white, it is cyclical and iterative. Therefore it is very important to select a Methodology that is appropriate to your particular business.