Seattle Community

Sethu V
Management Consultant
Bangalore, Karnataka India

Was this article helpful?

Be the first one to rate it!
0 votes

A Quick Framework for Managing Change

A lot is said about how difficult it it to make change happen. Based on my limited experience of 18+ years, I have found the following framework to be quite handy. Read on for more...
Written Oct 29, 2009, read 4336 times since then.


A lot is said about how difficult it it to make change happen. In my limited 17 years of experience leading, managing and advising on business transformational change in organizations, I find the following framework to be quite handy.

Of course, driving each component of the framework correctly crucially dictates the outcome. If one or more of the components of the model are missing or executed badly, you can also see what would be the likely outcome.

So depending on where you find your organization's Six Sigma (or for that matter any business, process, technology or project) initiative is today, you can rewind to the relevant component(s) and work on putting things back on track.

While the framework looks simple, without a doubt it is "deceptively simple". The success depends not just on knowing or leveraging the model to drive change but on the quality and richness of the thoughts of organizational stakeholders in preparing a solid execution plan to make this happen. That is significantly a function of organizational functional, domain, technical, process and business knowledge so that a successful outcome can be achieved.

BTW - This framework is pinned right in front of my eyes in the softboard at my desk!! You may want to do it as well!!

Hope this is useful!!

A Framework For Managing Discontinuities

In its simplest form, discontinuity in the work place is change. A popular change framework is:

Vision -> Skills -> Incentives -> Resources -> Action Plan = Change

1. A vision is the starting point for goals it provides the launch pad for action and the parameters for problem-solving.

2. Once a vision is established, it is necessary to build the skills needed to realize the vision.

3. Incentives help to motivate the workforce to acquire and maintain new skills. Building "buy-in" engages them -- it means they are now stake-holders.

4. Adequate resources allows the vision to be achieved.

5. Action planning is a continuous thread across all phases -- it is change process. Although presented as the final component of the change framework, it should be viewed as the foundation of the systems change process.

If any of the steps are missing, something will go wrong:

* Skills -> Incentives -> Resources -> Action Plan = Confusion (If Vision missing)
* Vision -> Incentives -> Resources -> Action Plan = Anxiety (If Skill missing)
* Vision -> Skills -> Resources -> Action Plan = Gradual Change (If Incentive missing)
* Vision -> Skills -> Incentives -> Action Plan = Frustration (If Resources is missing)
* Vision -> Skills -> Incentives -> Resources = Treadmill Effect (False starts) (If Action plan missing)

From my experience, I can say that organizations do a decent job on resources and skills, but found hugely lacking on:

- Vision (Particularly in communicating it to employees who don't really connect with what the company is trying. Employees find things to be "recipe of the month" syndrome - You can ask this question to yourself and to your office colleagues and include comments here)

- Action Plan (PPTs are great, but coming down to execution, getting into numerous things at the same time without deciding priorities, assuming "certainty" in plans (no backup plans!!), besides wastage of resources during execution that directly impacts outcome)

- Incentives - Why should I do this? (The "I am doing work" and I am doing "Six Sigma" (or CMM or ISO) also. The fundamental question of what is in it for me is just not adequately addressed to the clarity and satisfaction of the workforce. (Please show them the "gold" (not just the goal!!) - This is squarely in the Top/Business Manager's domain) (Finally every company blames the HR Team for "not doing enough" to "motivate" and "retain" employees - What a pity!!)

Do post your experiences and observations (self and gathered from talking to organizational colleagues) and enrich the discussion out here!!


Learn more about the author, Sethu V.

Comment on this article

No one has posted a comment yet. Be the first!