How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Tabling Readiness for Change
Here is a method for a detailed analysis of how ready individuals and groups are for a given change. Note that just doing this can be a very helpful activity to understand readiness. The table produced is also helpful for targeting remedial action.
Start by identifying the subjects who are to be assessed. This should include all people who are affected by the change or who have power to help or hinder the change.
Identify key individuals involved. This will likely include senior people who need to give their full support to the change, plus significant other people, such as social leaders and others who have particular influence.
Identify groups to include. This can include groups who already have individuals identified. Typically this includes target groups who are affected by the change plus management and support groups whose engagement in the change is important.
List the individual criteria that contribute to either willingness or ability to change. Take time here to discuss these and so ensure you have the most useful criteria to help you assess readiness.
People who are willing to change are either ready and motivated or at least accept the change and are ready to go along with it. Other criteria for willingness could include courage to step into what may essentially be an unknown, interest in the new subjects and readiness to let go of things they are doing now.
It is one thing to be willing to change, but you also need to have the ability to do this. This not only means having the skills for change but also the skills for the new job. Other criteria that could fit here include having organizational support, with appropriate structures in place as well as having resources to do the job.
Draw a table something like the one below, including:
Now score each subject on each of the criteria in the table. A common way to do this is to score 1 as very low and 5 as very high.
Then review the criteria per subject for each of willingness and ability criteria and create overall willingness and ability scores. A simple and regular way of doing this is by average, although a more subjective way may be used. These scores can be used to help create a visual chart of readiness.
Finally assess downwards for a summary score for each column. This will give the assessed value for each criteria for the organization and can help with identifying global activities, such as widespread training or motivation sessions.
Finally respond to the findings that the table indicates, identifying, planning and implementing actions that will increase the change readiness of individuals, groups and the organization.
Methods for increasing readiness could well involve using those who are ready to help those who are less ready to get up to speed. This time can also be used to help root out and address any determined resistance to change.