An Integrated Change Model: Approach, Process, Style

Tool / Change and Organization

An Integrated Change Model: Approach, Process, Style
Jonathan Ferguson , Other, Australia

An integrated model, combining Day's 6 Stages Theory, Theories E&O, and four of the six Images of Managing Change.

Contingency theory states that the context is what determines method(s) used. With that in mind, the proposed model of change integrates the processes of Day's Six Stages Theory, the combined approach of Beer & Nohria's Theory E & O, and four of the six management styles from the Six Images of Managing Change – director, coach, interpreter, and navigator. It provides the change agent with a framework for flexibility when dealing with large-scale organisational change.

The first stage, ‘demonstrate leader commitment’, corresponds to the leadership dimension of Theory E & O. In this dimension, direction for change is set from the top but with the full engagement from employees. The images used would be a combination of the director, setting the path and the coach, facilitating the employees’ involvement.

The second stage, ‘shape the vision of/for change’, corresponds to the goals and the consultant dimensions. The consultants dimension relates to the vision for change, indicating how it will happen. The goals dimension relates to the vision of change, focusing on both economic value and organisational capability. The interpreter image, engaging in sense-making of the vision, and navigator image, guiding the visionary process to its end, would be appropriate here.

The third stage is ‘understand the need for change’, and it corresponds to the dimensions of leadership and goals. The director image would assist with the leadership dimension since it is the leader’s responsibility to communicate necessary information about the change, such as the reasons behind the change. The interpreter image would assist in the sense-making regarding why the change is important.

‘Mobilise commitment’ is the fourth stage, corresponding to leadership, reward system, and consultants. Again, the director image would assist with the leadership dimension, directing the mobilisation effort and engaging the employees. The director image would also assist with establishing a reward system to help to reinforce the change. The consultant dimension would be served by the interpreter image, bringing about sense-making that will help to build that commitment among employees.

The fifth stage is ‘align structures’ with the corresponding dimensions of focus and process. Both the director and the coach images could be valuable for establishing focus – the director for the ‘hard’ side and the coach for the ‘soft’ side. The navigator would be appropriate for the process dimension as it requires someone who can guide the process past unforeseen obstacles.

Finally, the sixth stage is ‘reinforce change’, which corresponds to the leadership, reward system, and consultant dimensions. A combination of both the director and the coach images would work for all three of these dimensions. The director image would be important for the leadership dimension as leadership of the change needs to be ongoing. As in stage four, the director could also assist in the development of a reward system for reinforcing the change while the coach image would serve the consultant function, empowering the employees to make the change a habit.

[Note: I developed this integrated model in October 2010 for a master-level change management class at the University of Technology, Sydney.]

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