How to approach change like an expert

At a seminar on Best Practice in Change Management at the BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management) Channel Islands branch, we explained how two key theories help drive change in businesses.


The Change Curve by Kübler-Ross

Kübler-Ross identified that the stages of grief curve could be applied to how individuals cope with any type of change.  And thus, should be considered when managing change.

The change curve demonstrates the process that individuals typically go through, charting employee performance and reactions to implemented changes, over time.

Not everyone moves through the curve at the same rate. Some people get stuck at a particular stage, others skip stages and some start moving back through the curve.

Change is not always simple and usually invoke emotions that can and will be triggered throughout the process.


John Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

The 1 million pound question is– how can you make sure your change project is successful? John Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model includes the necessary components to ensure that your change is managed successfully and is as seamless as possible.


1.     Urgency – This is the most important step according to Kotter. If people feel a need for change, an urgent need preferably, then they will feel more encouraged to take action.

2.     Coalition – This is a group who manage the change, if they are not all fully supportive of the change and the method of implementation then the change project is likely to breakdown further along the process.

3.     Vision and Strategy – Clarity is key here, as is agreeing a time frame for the change so you can track its progress.

4.     Communicate – The most important stage for Allam is communication. Communication is vital to foster support and acceptance among employees.

5.     Remove Obstacles – Sometimes people will resist the change or other initiatives may counteract it and so if it is necessary sometimes they need to be removed if they are undermining the vision.

6.     Create Wins – Short term wins and short term goals help employees see the positive impacts of the change.

7.     Build on Change – Change fails when the process is perceived as complete too early, change is a slow process and takes time to become a long-term change.

8.     Embed to Culture – Make sure your values and standards agree with the change to make it part of your company’s culture. 



Moving People Through Change


In the post-seminar Q&A, Rebecca Keating, Senior Consultant BDO Greenlight, led delegates through a personal experience of business change in Jersey.


Personality is key to how people respond to change so leaders, managers, and coaches should learn as much as they can about the personalities of people in their organisations to predict how they are likely to react to change and thus, tailor their approach to cater for their team.


Rebecca also offered real life examples of change such as Greenlight’s own merger with BDO and Sator. Transforming a company from a ‘boutique’ firm like Greenlight to a larger organisation, has given Greenlight the opportunity to put their own processes into practice.


Rebecca said: “The fact is that businesses don't just change because of new systems, processes or new organisation structures. They change because the people within the organisation adapt and change too. Only when the people within it have moved through the change curve can a business truly reap the benefits of change.”