Our CEO, Dr Stewart Barnes, begins his Leading Change Masterclass with the quote
“Change throws up the need for leaders. Leaders create change.”
Leading change is thus an important skill for leaders of teams and organisations.
But what is change? And why does it fail so often?
Well, there are three components of any change:
1. What you are seeking to change
2. Why you are changing and
3. How you are going to successfully implement the change
Amazingly, up to 75% of change initiatives are unsuccessful. So, leaders and managers need to spend more time considering HOW they are going to ensure that the change process is successful.
A useful change management tool is the forcefield analysis tool developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1950s. It links to his three stage theory of change and allows you to plan and visually map ‘how you are going to implement change’ by identifying the forces in favour of change as well as likely resistance.
Think of the change as being a huge block of stone that you want to move from the current state to a future desired state.
Step 1: Draw a big block representing the change you want to implement.
Step 2: List all the driving forces for the change - arguments in favour of the change, benefits of the change and also groups or individuals who will support or benefit from the change.
Step 3: Rank these by giving each force a number from 1 to 10; the stronger the force, the higher the number.
Step 4: List all the restraining forces - drawbacks, risks, costs and reasons not to make the change.
Step 5: List those groups, departments or individuals who might oppose the change or suffer some negative consequence of the change.
Step 6: Rate these forces from 1 to 10 depending on the strength of the forces.
Step 7: Draw all the forces as arrows bearing onto the block in the middle as shown in the diagram.
If the change is to be successful (ie. the block of stone is to move) then the driving forces must be greater than the restraining forces.
You can do this in two ways:
a) by reinforcing the driving forces or
b) by weakening the restraining forces.
Step 8: Brainstorm each item in turn starting with the largest forces
Step 9: For each driving force, think of ideas to make the force more powerful.
Step 10: For each hindering force, think of ideas to overcome or mitigate it – use post-it notes, a flip chart or mind map software.
Finally, select the most effective ideas for all the forces and that becomes your action plan to improve implementation of the change.
Top Tip: Sometimes the easiest course of action is to remove the lowest scoring restraining force (the weakest) to drive the change.
If you'd like to read more about Leading Change and how it can transform your organisation, scroll down to download our free e-book.
Our next LEAD™ program starts on 10th and 11th November. If you'd like to hear from Dr Stewart Barnes on how to successfully lead change, his all-day masterclass in December reveals the secrets of what you need to do.
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