3 Key Phases of the Change Process
Change doesn’t just happen – it’s driven. There are reasons that organizations and people change, and the first step of change management is understating the forces of change and learning to use those forces to your advantage.
- Change is movement away from the present. It’s movement through a place that isn’t old or new – it’s the delta. The way things were was never firm; it was in a constant state of tension between the need to remain stable and the need to respond to time and its inevitable changes.
- The delta is the transition from the way it was to the way it is going to be. It’s a time of confusion, uncertainty, and lack of definition. While those characteristics may seem like a price paid for change, they are also one its biggest assets. People need the ability to move freely within the wide boundaries of the delta. This flexibility allows individuals and organizations to experiment, to test new designs, and to find faster, easier ways to achieve their goals.
- The future is not a firm, fixed place in time and definition. Simply going through the delta will alter and redefine the future. Factors that surface throughout the delta affect your company’s definition of the future. You can’t ensure implementation that definitely follows a rigid set of changes. But the definition does have a shape. It has boundaries to keep your change efforts within the scope of your vision/mission.
Think of the change process as movement. It has boundaries, but it is also flexible and fluid.
The future, present, and delta have unique characteristics that we need to understand and use to ensure successful change.