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Test the Conditions for Change in Your Organization

An Interactive Organizational Transition Quiz


Does your organization have a change plan? How will you know if it is effective? How can you best involve your people in the change plan? How can you know if your company has the right conditions for successful change implementation? Take this short quiz and test your organization’s climate for change.

The difference between successful changes and those that don't work has nothing to do with the quality of the idea. It is the human side of the planning and implementation strategies that usually marks the difference between success and failure. See how well your organization fares.

Consider a current major change – such as a reorganization, reengineering, a merger, quality improvement effort, or the application of a new software system – and answer the following statements. Ideally you should be able to answer "Yes" to all 15. Pay attention to those you answer "Somewhat" or "No" – these could cause you problems.

  Yes No Some

Build Strong Working Relationships

Your change management plan:

1. Identifies all parties who have a stake in the outcome.
2. Includes a way to get all these stakeholders involved in the planning and implementation. If it is unrealistic to get all individual parties involved, a significant cross-section (including a diagonal slice of the organization) is encouraged to take part in planning.

Maintain Clear Focus

You need long-range focus (goal, vision) as well as an ability to focus on the level of support or opposition you face today. Focusing near and far at the same time is difficult. Your plans should include way to keep your sights clearly on both the goal and the current situation. Your change management plan:

3. Allows you to keep your long-range goal in mind throughout the process, even when it might be tempting to get immersed in the details of the project or overwhelmed by the resistance.
4. Provides ways to monitor the extent to which support is building or waning.
5. Provides context for the change to stakeholders. What is the business reason for the change? What are the conditions that led up to this change?

Embrace Resistance

The change strategy should include ways to actively invite opposition. When people believe they have something to lose by this change, your ability to work with resistance will be a critical factor in determining whether the change will be a success or a failure. Most often, organizations attempt to overpower or ignore resistance. This is often a tragic mistake.

Your change management plan:

6. Includes ways to keep the doors of communication open throughout the planning and implementation of the change.
7. Includes multiple ways to get beneath the surface and hear what people really think about these changes.

Respect Those Who Have a Stake

Your change management plan:

8. Lets people know that you've heard their concerns and value their input.
9. Allows you to be influenced by their views.
10. Gives people timely and candid information about the change

Allows You to Stay Relaxed

You must choose a strategy that allows you to feel relatively grounded, while you engage in dialogue with others. If you feel off-balance, you could lash out and ruin any chance for collaboration.

11. You believe the change management plan is sound and will work. Too often, leaders allow themselves to be talked into a plan that is someone else's brainchild. You must believe it is worthy, or you will be anxious every step of the way.
12. The plan allows you to get hot issues out in the open and still stay within your own comfort zone.

Allows You to Join with Other Stakeholders

Your change management plan addresses the following questions:

13. What's in it for me (or the group I represent)? The plan provides a way for you to clearly state why you think this is an important issue and any recommendations you have developed.
14. What's in it for them? The plan offers a way for all the interested parties to communicate what's in it – and not in it – for them.
Questions 13 and 14 provide information, 15 requires some action in order to find these common concerns.
15. What's in it for us? The strategy includes ways to try to pull together disparate interests in a mutually beneficial solution that meets most of the needs of most of the stakeholders.

Your Score



Source: Maurer & Associates, Rick Maurer


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