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Managing Complex Change, June 2018

Are you responsible for managing change where you work? Is your organization currently undergoing some complex change or changes?

I often work with organizations to manage complex change. They don't usually come to me asking for support managing change, but through the process of what they have asked for: developing new strategy, a new policy, changes in professional development supports, the rolling out of new curricular materials or training of staff, what I end up doing is coaching the organization through a process of change.

Below is the tool I use to help create a visual representation of what individuals often experience or feel during the change process. I was introduced to this tool nearly eight years ago by a former colleague Carol Austin, the current Executive Director of Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC).

It's a pretty straightforward chart; if you read across, those are the five things required for change and when one of those elements is missing, you can see what the result is.

Pause for moment and think about the last change your organization tried to implement. Which elements were missing? Think about your or the staff's behavior-- does it match with the element that is missing? In other words, were you or your staff frustrated due to lack of resources when rolling out the desired changes? Have staff reported feeling confused about the direction you're going in? Maybe they aren't seeing your vision, and you need to spend some more time helping them to see it.

While I typically use this tool when working with organizations, I've also shared it with friends going through personal changes and I've occasionally paused to reflect on what I'm feeling and tried to match it back to this chart to see if I could address those feelings by trying to fill in the gap.

What do you think? What are your reactions to this tool? Tweet me your reaction at @rebeccafabiano

If you're about to under go change at your organization and would like some support, contact us! We'd be happy to work with you and happy to coach you and your staff through the process using this tool.

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