Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Framework 59 Virginia Satir Change Process

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Change is a process, not an event. There is a need to understand the process and its sequence to improve our handling of implementing change.

We protect our status quo from perceived unnecessary change. At the same time we embrace change we control and resist change forced upon us.

Over time there are changes in our status of competency or productivity, ie competency starts out level, drops to near zero, then climbs the familiar s-curve.

This framework emphasises

i) change takes time

ii) move from competence to incompetence then back to competence

iii) start slowly picking up new competencies and as time passes this speeds up

iv) status quo is a temporary condition/paradigm

Sequence (see below diagram)

organisational development change management

Status quo (1)

This represents the sum total of all our past investments. The decision to move on from the status quo position depends on the level of dissatisfaction with the status quo. The status quo can be a motivator or obstacle to changing.

Foreign Element and Threat Analysis (2)

This is the event that triggers the change but is not necessarily the event that threatens the status quo. It can be an internal or external event.

(NB the definition for change and creativity are similar, ie doing things differently

People don't resist change; they resist being changed without their consent and/or when they have no control over the process)

Empowerment is a way to give as much control as possible to those who are undergoing the change. Empowered people are more willing to undertake the change journey, even wrenching change. Also empowerment is a way to internalize the change.

Part of empowerment is access to information, especially about the Foreign Element and its relationship to the Status Quo.

"...People resist change in order to protect their status quo from unnecessary change..."

Peter de Jager, 2010

We evaluate if the perceived Foreign Element is a threat or opportunity. Will it create a future that is acceptable or not, ie if we ignore the foreign element, what will the future be like? If it is unacceptable, then we accept that the change is necessary

Then we examine (by study, research and analysis) the range of responses to the Foreign Element

Doing a threat analysis creates ownership of a change, ie determining the need for a change and selecting how to do it.

Resistance (3)

Resistance, denial and rejection are linked as obstacles to change

Around 90% of any change problems are due to lack of information regarding the necessity for the change. Generally, once people have adequate information, they will support the change. Thus the need to spend time with those against the change

People's concerns about the change need to be handled

Denial (4)

Definition, ie refusing to accept that a change has occurred or using effective and efficient behaviours no longer suitable to the task.

Chaos (5)

Foreign element changes the competencies, ie new competencies are needed to handle the new situation

People fear being labeled as incompetent or perceived as incompetent. Yet with exponential change it is unreasonable to expect to be always competent.

Incompetency can be changed by training. It is a natural and temporary state when we face something new. It allows us to play, experiment and to make mistakes

Integration (6)

While feeling that you have finally achieved competence, you realise that you still have a way to go, ie finally feel that you have achieved the desired goal but overreact to some insignificant upset.

New Status Quo (7)

Reach a new level of competence

The ability to learn is one of our strongest talents and this helps in the change process.

Need to perceive that the act of learning is seen as an opportunity and not a threat. This is based on experience and mindset, ie how you see things


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