It’s a common occurrence for change projects to get stuck. That’s the focus of the Influence Change at Work™ model by Enclaria. It’s not a sequential model like some of the other change models but is instead a set of five factors that lead to change management success.
The model is reminiscent of Kurt Lewin’s work on force fields (see A Dynamic Theory of Personality) and the need to align the forces so that they propel forward motion rather than allowing conflicting forces to stall progress. The model has five components: Clarifying the Change, Reducing Resistance, Leveraging Leadership, Building Structural Influence, and Applying Personal Influence.
Clarify the Change
It all starts with clarifying the change so that everyone knows what is expected. This means clearly assessing the current reality and creating a clear vision of the future state. Knowing the current state and the desired future clearly allows you to articulate the gap between the two and therefore the change that must be accomplished.
Tools like SWOT, PESTLE, and others can be used to assess the current situation. These tools focus everyone on the things about the current situation that aren’t desirable either because of a limitation or because there’s an opportunity that’s not being leveraged. With the current state analysis in hand, an envisioning process can begin, which looks for potential solutions to the undesirable state and then evaluates those solutions to select a set of solutions that lead to the best implementation. The change then becomes implementing the solutions that you’ve selected.
Bridges’ Transition Model focuses on managing the process of loss so that people are less resistant to change. Here, the key is to find tools and techniques to minimize the resistance to the change – or at least the impact of the resistance to the change.
While authority isn’t entirely held in the positional leadership of the organization, a great deal of authority is automatically conveyed based on position. By gathering relationships, you can get support from leaders to demonstrate the desired behaviors and encourage others to follow suit.
Often, change initiatives suffer because stakeholders can’t see leadership buy-in despite what they may be saying. By leveraging leadership’s words as well as their behaviors, a clear message is sent to the organization about the commitment to the change – and therefore their need to participate.
Build Structural Influence
Leaders may be the engines that produce the power for the change, but without a transmission, that power never reaches the wheels of change. Structural influence is about creating accountability, identifying stakeholders that need to make the changes, and ensuring appropriate communications about what is expected. When everyone knows what is expected of them – and that they’ll be held accountable to it – people have the compelling force they need to make the change.
Apply Personal Influence
Everett Rogers, in his Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices model, says that people change their attitudes based on a relationship with others. Applying your personal influence is about identifying the ways that you can build and leverage relationships to get others to change their attitudes about the change and, ultimately, make personal decisions to support the model through their actions.
The Influence Change at Work™ model is one that may be best applied in conjunction with other models that are more process focused. While it addresses both the motivation of employees and ensuring compliance, it doesn’t specifically speak to anchoring, reinforcing, or refreezing the new behaviors in the organization.