Levels of Change & Intervention
Changes can happen and/or impact, within an organization, on four different levels (see graphic below.) There can be one or several levels affected by a Change. It is important to understand the levels a change impacts, as they are the base for appropriate measures and interventions.
Individual or team changes (levels 1 and 2) are changes within the system (organization), changes on level 3 (organization) are changing the system itself, while changes on level 4 (relevant context and environment) impact the wider system an organization is operating in. (for example the segment, market or industry)
Today the necessity and therefore ability to respond to changes on level 4 (context, environment) has reached a new quality. Modern communication increases, as the uncertainty of future questions (market, environment and society) are rising and likewise the need for organizations to find the appropriate answers on all these levels.
Organizational changes usually have their origin from level 2 to 4. The appropriate Change Interventions can take place on all 4 levels.
- Changes at a higher level always affect the lower levels.
- Changes at a lower level can but do not have to affect the higher levels.
- Interventions at all effected levels can but must not be appropriate (it needs to be decided)
At the end, every changes no mater on which level always impact the individuals. [EG. global warming; a bankruptcy of a company; a new IT system, a new team set-up, a new job etc.] Change usually is seen as a threat and therefore leads to fear and resistance. The Resistance of an individual towards a change depends on two factors:
1. Does someone feel affected by the change? No | Yes go to 2nd
2. If yes, is it perceived positive or as negative [a threat/a loss] ==> Fear / Resistance? Often there is a big discrepancy between the felt impact and the real impact on a person. Unfortunately as long as we deal with human beings, we have to deal with what is felt, the emotions not with what is “real”. [e.g. in a Carve Out the individual feels: life derails, lose control of life, company betrayals, fear for one’s existence, paralysis etc.] Therefore people need time to digest, get used to and see / reflect what the impact will be. Processing time and the possibility to actively process is the key in times of rigorous change. On the individual level we look at who is/feels affected in which way by changes and how can the individual be supported to manage / handle it appropriately? [Skill building? Processing of challenging situation? Coaching? …] Read more about Coaching
Group / Team Level
Changes often affect groups or teams, this can happen from the outside or from the inside. They have to adapt to new situations, processes, systems and tasks. They are set up, composed newly or ceased; they are transferred to somewhere else … Severe changes inevitably create dynamics in the team/ group which are likely to affect it’s communication, interaction and cooperation in the in & outside. [e.g. Impact of Carve Out on Group/ Team: of no worth to organization, structures are breaking, team focus declining, stress level rising, conflict level rising, co operation level declining…] How to support groups and teams appropriately before during and after the changes is the matter here. If groups / teams need to change, then individuals need to change too (see Individual Level).
Sometimes entire parts of or even the entire organizations need to change. These are normally the severest changes that can happen. [E.G. impact of Carve out on Organization: massive organizational insecurity, Alienation although still part of the old organization, insider/ outsider question, cut interfaces / processes, new systems and procedures…] If the organization changes, teams / groups need to change and therefore individuals. How to support the organization and the relevant groups / teams appropriately during the changes is the matter here. As numerous interventions on different levels need to be orchestrated the use of Change Architectures becomes a necessity. This kind of organizational change usually goes along with changes in attitude or culture and is both, complex and long term. Read more about Consulting
What is Change Management for us?
- Change Management, how we live it, is a situational approach supporting the movement/ alteration/ transition of individuals, teams, or organizations from a current state to a desired future state.
- “People Processes” focus on managing inter and intra people dynamics, which naturally arise in a changing business environment.
- On an organizational level Change Management summarizes all tasks, measures and actions that are designed and implemented to support profound, cross-functional and far-reaching, substantive changes (Business Change Process) related to organizations.
Change Management Process serves and pursues Business Change Process
What is a Business Change Process?
It’s a Business Adjustment with a considerable impact on parts or the entire organization. [PMI, Carve Out, Hard Restructuring, Reorganization, New Strategy and Organizational Alignment etc.]
A Change Management Process serves, facilitates, guards, sets the frame and enables (the implementation of) the Business Processes. The Change Management Process is connected to the Business Change Process. It is set up and designed to support and serve the Business Change Processes.
How the Business Change Processes and the Change Management intertwine:
The Business Change Process
|2. Intent/Focus||3. Planning Pathway||4. Implementation/
|5. Control & Adjust|
|A Business Change Process starts with a felt- need, a wish to adapt or change something. This could include your business strategy, tactics, operations, set-up, organization, processes, market-approach, products or even your clients. This often starts top down in organizations with management perceiving a need for change or a sense of urgency to prepare for the future.||Assemble a team, get it involved to pick up the idea and carry it further. Working out: Where we are now and where do we want/need to go?||Defining and working out the necessary measures and actions that need to be implemented to achieve the desired aim. (Who needs to do what, with whom and when?)||Project Management of Implementation. Executing the necessary measures and actions in the relevant organizations.||Did the implemented measures and actions measure up to our intentions? Is there still a gap? What is needed to close the gap? Is the intention still valid?
If necessary the process would continue with step number 2. Intent/Focus again.
The Change Management Process
|2. Intent/Focus||3. Planning Pathway||4. Implementation/ Execution||5. Control & Adjust|
|Support the emergence process of individuals or teams. Coach the surfacing and formulation of emerging awareness. Workshops to crystallize emerging awareness||Support (Project) team to form and to work out:
Provide methods, formats and tools to work out Intent and Focus
|Plan and Design Change Interventions according to the Business Pathway. Develop a Change Architecture.
Provide methods, formats and tools for planning and scenarios
Consult Team on considering CM in the planning
|Implement the Change Interventions and Architecture
||Gather feedback from relevant stakeholders. Derive conclusions in respect to goal achieving and adjustments.|