Choosing to change can be one of the most difficult decisions we make. It often requires confronting a fundamental inconsistency in beliefs that can be core to a personal or organizational identity.
The ability to change can become critical to the survival and sustainability of a company. This has led to a number of change management models that have been developed to facilitate and lead needed or desired change. Well known examples include:
Additional models also exist for managing personal change. If you would like us to cover this topic in a future newsletter, please contact us to let us know.
Change management has the objective of moving an individual, team, or organization from a current state to a preferred future state. These models provide approaches to do this without explicitly addressing the fundamental component needed for change; a new or updated set of working decisions.
Many of the elements discussed in the models are central to a Connected Decisions framework. Kotter's model relies on development of new decisions for vision and mission. The McKinsey approach recognizes the interdependence of decisions for strategy and shared values. New knowledge and skills required for decision success are suggested in the McKinsey and ADKAR models. Change completes successfully when cultural alignment is achieved and the organization operates under the new set of core beliefs.
Resistance to change arises from lack of decision alignment at either the organizational or personal level. Focusing on decisions can expose the choices that must be aligned for a change effort to be successful. Ultimately, decisions fundamental to the change effort must be reinforced with evidence that goals and success factors are being achieved for new beliefs to take hold.
Using the Connected Decisions framework to manage change puts focus squarely on where change will take place: the organizational and personal choices that align, generate, and promote realization of a desired future. Managing change equals managing decisions. Benefits of using this approach include:
The connected decision framework can also be used to expose the need for change by showing where the current working set of decisions will not meet goals, needs, or desires envisioned for the organization and its stakeholders.
Managing the change process plays an important role when transforming strategy. The need for quick and effective strategic alignment may be critical to organization or company survival. Change management models were developed to address challenges associated with this type of large scale change. They seek to minimize the loss in performance that comes from negative emotions characterized by the change curve (shock, denial, anger, fear).
To achieve alignment, individuals must make personal choices to adopt and align to the decisions contained in the new strategy. If vision and mission are changing, these choices include acceptance of a new organizational identity. It can be easy to see how changes of this magnitude can create conflict with personal beliefs, leading to resistance. Organizational decisions could also produce personal loss, providing another source for resistance.
Decisions provide the basis for change, enabling straightforward application as a change management model.
Here are some high level steps:
The Connected Decisions framework and decision making process provides the ability to address change that scales from a single decision to complete organizational transformation.