Change Leadership Growth Leadership

Managing Complex Change

In my various newsfeeds (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), I see lots of helpful managing change tips and approaches, but the below information based on the work of Knoster, Villa and Thousand (2000) really stuck with me.

Not only is it a simple way to explain the ingredients for a successful change and/or rollout, but it also shares the likely outcomes if an ingredient is missing.

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Summary

Knoster, Villa and Thousand (2000) developed a framework that was modified for Education, but can be applied for managing any change.

There are five essential elements:

  1. Vision :: There needs to be a clear purpose and direction.
  2. Skills :: Those impacted by the change must possess (or acquire) the needed skills to support the change(s).
  3. Incentives :: There must be motivation within people to adjust to the change(s). Motivation can be driven by both positive and negative incentives.
  4. Resources :: Capabilities and means to properly meet goals and vision.
  5. Action Plan :: Specifies the “who, what, when, where, why and how”

Planning for and address all five elements promotes the goals, motivation, skills and support needed to produce desired results.

However, not addressing any one of the five essential elements could result in undesirable outcomes:

  • Confusion :: Without a clear and well-understood vision, confusion will surround the change, with stakeholders and team members not understanding what needs to be achieved.
  • Anxiety :: If the change involves people that do not possess sufficient skills to master the required tasks, stakeholders will become anxious that they change may fail or be delayed.
  • Resistance :: If incentives are not addressed, there will be little motivation and much higher resistance to the intended change by all involved parties.
  • Frustration :: If sufficient and proper resources are not available to create and support the change, then frustration will be present.
  • False Starts :: Without a clear and well-defined action plan, the change will not move at the desired pace, and could come to a standstill. The direction and/or process is not understood.

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