Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dealing with Change

In the Corporate Environment, the movement of people between jobs is all too common. Whereas 30-40 years ago, our parents essentially stayed with the one employer for their whole working career, the Gen X’s and Gen Y’s of the world only last 2-3 years before moving on to their next challenge.

What this means for the future (and now for that matter) is that change is inevitable. Just think, the average lifespan of a CEO is like 3 years?

Change management is a fascinating area. To me, it’s very much a psychological way of thinking. When a new CEO is announced, how do people think/feel/react? I’ll bet a lot of people immediately think about job security. Is the new boss going to be happy with me? Am I being productive? What happens when he/she starts? Will I get the sack? No doubt there will be a lot of change that happens – whether that is with people, structures or processes.

There’s a lot of theories out there about Change Management – a popularised one is the ADKAR model by Jeffrey Hiatt. It’s a simple one based on the acronym:

Awareness – Why are we changing?
Desire – Do you want to come along for the ride and move with the change?
Knowledge – Do you know how to change?
Ability – Do you have the ability to change?
Reinforcement – Can you retain the change?

When change does happen, it’s useful to apply this model to understand why some people have trouble with change management. As leaders, it’s an important tool to understand why some people can and some people can’t change. People are usually resistant to change because it breaks them out of a pattern, whilst others embrace it with open arms b/c of the opportunities it presents. The ADKAR model is a good tool to understand why.