Key Change Principles

1. Successful change is a continual journey of learning, growing, improving, adapting, and managing the change process. Staying the same or relying on past successes is a formula for eventual failure.

2. Quick-fix solutions rarely last. A successful change effort takes time.

3. The incentives (positive or negative) for change must be greater than the incentive (reasons and excuses) for keeping the status quo (not changing).

4. Significant change usually involves varying degrees of pain and sacrifice that can be acknowledged and managed but not avoided.

5. A change effort rarely succeeds without the support of one or more change champions.

6. The change process (how change is accomplished) is equally as important as the change product (what is targeted for change). The appropriate steps must be conducted correctly for change to succeed.

7. A change effort needs to go through the three stages of change (preparation, implementation, and transition) to have a high probability of success.

8. The major focus of change should be on present realities, future ideals, and how to move step by step toward the ideals.

9. All change efforts are different. The strategies used in each effort should be a function of the type of change needed (knowledge, behavior, culture, process, technology), the level of change desired (fine tuning, incremental, or transformational), and what the key players are willing and able to do. Positive change is more effective than negative change.

10. Involving an organization’s members in the change process increases their understanding, commitment, and ownership.

11. Positive change is more effective than negative change.

12. Opportunities for change disappear quickly and the momentum for change wanes as time elapses.


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