The Three A's of Change Management

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The Three A's of Change Management
Prabhakar Karve, Management Consultant, India

Whatever the nature of change it always follows a three step process:

Awareness ⇒ Acceptance ⇒ Action.

Understanding this process helps us to manage change better for ourselves.
Everything we do has an element of change in it in some way.

At the lowest level, even when we are repeating the same thing over and over again, still it is changing something for those with whom we interact. For example, we come to office every day. But the fact that we have come to office enables us to change certain things which otherwise would not have been possible. Another example. Software developed by us may keep repeating the same steps, but the persons who are using it may change because of it.

At the next level, we may do things differently. We start new actions, drop old actions or do the existing actions in different ways. All this involves some change for us as well as others.

At a still higher level, we may change the way we think. Our assumptions & beliefs change, either as a result of external factors or out of our own volition.Depending on the nature of this change, there may be profound changes, both now and in a long run.

Whatever the nature of change it always follows a three step process; Awareness -> Acceptance -> Action. Understanding this process helps us to manage change better for ourselves. It will also help us to put right efforts while bringing about the desired change in others by being aware of which stage of the process the person concerned is currently in. It will be waste of time & efforts if we keep trying assuming that he is at a given stage whereas he is at a different stage.

Lets give this a thought as well as try it out in practice. It may make us into masters of change management.

Between Awareness and Acceptance is the Yawning Gulf of Human Behavioural Reality
Graham Barkus, Management Consultant, Hong Kong
The appeal of convenient 'three step processes' is undeniable when dealing with complexity in organizational life. Prabhakar Karve outlines a process for change which is intuitively correct and elegantly simple in equal measure.
The challenge however lies in the gap between Awareness and Acceptance. Rarely is this simple. People simply do not, in almost any circumstances, move from Awareness to Acceptance in one step. If in doubt, ask the medical profession (or read Alan Deutschman's account in Change or Die) about how effective in changing behaviour it is to raise a patient's awareness of the consequences of 'not changing' lifestyle habits.
The reality is people do not change what they do based on changing what they know. The Awareness-Acceptance gap is the shift from Knowledge to Belief - about the situation, about others in the situation, and about the ability of the individual to change the situation. And Belief requires and involves the human characteristic of Emotion.



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