Ready For Change?

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Have you ever wondered why you can't seem to get traction for a change project or why some employees seem to be resisting change? In this edition we explore why that happens and what you can do to help. 

Why do people resist (or embrace) change?

"People don't resist change. They resist being changed." ~ Peter Senge 

According to Achilles Armenakis (A professor at Auburn university Alabama) who has researched change readiness for over 40 years, there are 5 simple statements that must be true for people to be ready for change.                                                              

Before we explore that let's back up a bit. There is a big difference between being ready to 'begin' change and to 'succeed at change'. The first deals with the motivation to begin and engage in change while the later requires a whole other set of resources along with the motivation to persist and deal with the inevitable mess and bumps that comes with the change process. In this post we are looking at readiness only, an important and necessary first step to successful change.                                                                                                                                              What are the 5 statements that must be true? 

1. Discrepancy - change is needed. A significant gap between current state and what it should be. In other words people are not ready for change if they don't think there is a problem.

2. Appropriateness - the designed change is the correct one for the situation. That is, people are not ready for change if they do not believe you have the right solution to their problem.

3. Efficacy - the change recipients and the change organisation can successfully implement the change. That is, people are not ready for change if they don't think they can succeed.

4. Principal support - the formal leaders of the organisation are committed to the success of a change and it's not just a passing fad. That is people are not ready to change unless they can trust the formal leaders and their commitment.

5. Valence - change is beneficial to the change recipients. That is 'What's in it for me?'

Now you know what being ready for change means, how often have you or your organisation begun a change project and not satisfied these statements?