Find information about a range of approaches to managing organisational change – from Action Learning Sets, to the 7s model.
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Readiness and capability
Change interventions require the active support of the specific individuals and groups deemed central to their success. Once the appropriate individuals and groups have been identified, their readiness (attitudes; willingness, aims) and capability (ability, influence, authority) to successfully undertake the activities required of them may be assessed. The ‘Readiness – Capability Assessment Chart’ is a simple diagnostic tool to support the process of identification of individuals and groups and their ranking (high, medium or low) with regard to both readiness and capability on the dimensions above.
Relatively straightforward in use, such assessments lend themselves to planning further interventions to increase readiness and capability as required - the phrase ‘as required’ is however important. In relation to securing compliance, Senge (1990) advises that an assessment be made of the level of support required from the individuals and groups identified, and concentrating energy to achieve the required level (active commitment, genuine compliance, formal compliance) in each case.
Strengths and limitations
Two major limitations common to the change readiness literature are a failure to directly address the role of emotion (‘affect’) as well as knowledge (‘cognition’) in individual readiness to change; and the need to address readiness at multiple levels organisational levels (individual; work group; wider organisation) simultaneously. It is helpful to the extent that it draws attention to the role of emotion in mobilising staff support / resistance to change, and the hierarchical nature of many complex organisational structures.
In relation to social care change it provides a simple framework to consider the potential support or resistance of staff and people accessing services and carers to proposed change and so help to plan how to engage people in shaping the process.
- Beckhard and Harris, 1987
- Rafferty, AE, Jimmieson, NL and Armenakis AA (2012) Change readiness: a multilevel review, Journal of Management, 39, 1, 110-35
- Senge, P. (1990) The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation, London: Doubleday / Century Business