Change is an inevitable part of life; as they say, the only thing constant in life is change. If the change is well planned and executed, it can produce positive results faster. Different people react to changes differently. We can use the Kubler-Ross model to understand change more effectively and use this model to help the workforce adapt to change and move towards success. The Kubler-Ross model shows the various stages of emotions that people experience when they approach a major change. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This model has been adapted in this tool, and a survey can be used to understand in which stage the team members are stuck. The objective of the change leader is to understand their current phase and take actions to move the team only to the last phase to minimize productivity loss and ensure the success of any change effort. It is essential to understand that the team members may not move along the stages in a linear direction or step by step and may sometimes even return to an earlier stage. Each stage can last for a different period, and the change leader needs to ensure and support his team to help them move on from where they are. Here is a brief description of the various stages.
Denial: The stage of shock or denial is usually the first stage of the model that is hopefully short-lived. During this phase, people may put up a defense mechanism, and they may not want to believe that the change is happening. It can bring about a dip in productivity and the ability to think and act.
Anger: When realization finally hits that this change is going to hit them, the emotion may change to anger and resentment. The team members may take out the anger on themselves or others and are usually irritable, frustrated, and short-tempered during this stage. There may be some bargaining to postpone the inevitable and try to find out the best thing left.
Exploration: During this phase, people realize that fighting the change that is coming into their life is not going to make the grief go away; they resign to the situation and accept it completely. The resigned attitude may not be a happy space but is one that makes the person stop resisting and move ahead with it. At this point, they look for alternatives on what they should do next to live and thrive in the new environment.
Commitment: The final stage is Commitment when the team members are fully trained in the new way of working, and they have successfully made the transition. This is the point where their productivity has returned, and they have pretty much forgotten about the old ways of working.
By talking to people or conducting surveys, the change leader can try to identify how many people are in which stage of the change curve. If a majority of the people are still in the denial/shock phase, they will have to take action to reinforce to the team members that change is inevitable. If the majority of the team members are in the second stage of anger and resentment, then they will have to assuage their resentment and provide them resources to discuss this change and allow them to vent their feelings. If the majority of the team members are in the exploration stage, then the change leader can provide guidance and support for the change to stick, and finally, if members are in the last stage, they can take actions to reward and recognize the team members who have successfully changed to the new way of working.
This tool can be added to your active workbook by clicking on Change and then selecting Change Curve.
Click on Analysis Setup to open the menu options for this tool.
A sample screenshot of the setup menu is shown below.
Specify the tool format for this analysis. This selection is not enabled since there is only one format available.
Specify if you are entering the raw survey results or a summary of the survey results. Click on the blue text to toggle this setting.
There are two ways to enter the data for this analysis into the worksheet. The first is to directly estimate the number of people in each stage and enter the data on the worksheet as Summary data.
The second option is to conduct a survey and enter the survey responses onto the worksheet. The software will look through the survey responses and determine how many people are there in each stage of the change curve.
If you have selected the summary method of entering data, then enter the number of people in each stage directly on the worksheet. The number of people in each stage could be based on feedback from change agents or based on other surveys you have conducted in the recent past. This will directly plot the data you have entered onto the change curve. The other option is to send out a survey and the tool will estimate the stage of each participant based on their responses. The questions that need to be answered are:
I am aware of the proposed change effort.
I agree that the proposed change effort is required for the organization.
I agree that the change vision is compelling and desirable.
The individuals within my team are asking challenging questions to validate the need for change.
There is a lot of resentment and anger towards this change effort.
There is a general feeling that we cannot fall short of meeting the objectives.
The individuals within my team are looking forward to the new way of working.
Majority of the people in my team have migrated to the new way of working.
Results are visible and we recognize and celebrate success.
Click on this button to add an example worksheet. You can use the example to understand how others have filled out the tool or use the example as a starting point and modify it to better meet your needs.
Click on this button to open the help file for this topic.
Click on this button to cancel all changes to the settings and exit this dialog box.
Click on this button to save all changes and compute the outputs for this analysis.
If you click on the Checklist button, you will see the following dialog box.
The checklist contains a few pointers on things you need to pay particular attention to while performing this analysis. The checklist has been derived from experience working on past projects. Not all the checklist items need to apply to you. However, you should carefully review the checklist and apply any recommendations that make sense for your project. Make sure to read each checklist item and mark it as completed after you have read and taken actions as appropriate for your project.
If you click on the Charts button, you will see the following dialog box.
The system will automatically pick a title for your chart. However, if you would like to override that with your own title you can specify a title for your chart here. Note that this input is optional.
The system will automatically pick a subtitle for your chart. However, if you would like to override that with your own subtitle you can specify a subtitle for your chart here. Note that this input is optional.
The system will automatically pick a label for the x-axis. However, if you would like to override that with your own label for the x-axis you can specify a different label here. Note that this input is optional.
The system will automatically pick a label for the y-axis. However, if you would like to override that with your own label for the y-axis you can specify a different label here. Note that this input is optional.
The system will automatically pick a scale for the x-axis. However, if you would like to override that with your values for the x-axis, you can specify them here. The format for this input is to specify the minimum, increment, and maximum values separated by a semi-colon. For example, if you specify 10;20 then the minimum x-axis scale is set at 10 and the maximum x-axis scale is set at 20. If you specify 10;2;20, then, in addition to minimum and maximum values, the x-axis increment is set at 2. Note that this input is currently disabled and you will not be able to change this setting.
The system will automatically pick a scale for the y-axis. However, if you would like to override that with your values for the y-axis, you can specify them here. The format for this input is to specify the minimum, increment, and maximum values separated by a semi-colon. For example, if you specify 10;20 then the minimum y-axis scale is set at 10 and the maximum y-axis scale is set at 20. If you specify 10;2;20, then, in addition to minimum and maximum values, the y-axis increment is set at 2. Note that this input is optional.
If you want to add a few extra horizontal reference lines on top of your chart you can specify the values here. The format for this input is numeric values separated by semi-colon. For example, if you specify 12;15 then two horizontal lines are plotted at Y = 12 and Y = 15 respectively. Note that this input is optional.
If you want to add a few extra vertical reference lines on top of your chart you can specify the values here. The format for this input is numeric values separated by semi-colon. For example, if you specify 2;5 then two vertical lines are plotted at X = 2 and X = 5 respectively. Note that this input is optional.
If you click on the Verify button, the software will perform some checks on the data you have entered. A sample screenshot of the dialog box is shown in the figure below.
The objective of this analysis as well as any checks that are performed is listed in this dialog box. For example, the software may check if you have correctly specified the input options and entered the required data on the worksheet. The results of the analysis checks are listed on the right. If the checks are passed, then they are shown as a green-colored checkmark. If the verification checks fail, then they are shown as a red-colored cross. If the verification checks result in a warning, they are shown in the orange color exclamation mark and finally, any checks that are required to be performed by the user are shown as blue info icons.
Once you have answered all the data on the worksheet and click on Compute Outputs to generate analysis results. A graph of the number of people in each stage is shown in the graph. The stage with the most number of people in it is shown as the stage of the transition.
There are no specific outputs to interpret. You will need to understand how many people are in each stage and devise your change management efforts to help most people migrate to the commitment stage of the change. Repeat the survey at regular intervals to monitor the success of your change initiative.
Here are a few pointers regarding this analysis:
The way to administer the survey depends on the number of people involved. If there are a small set of people who are collocated in one location, your survey method may be to just ask people at a team meeting to fill out the survey and hand over the results (possibly anonymously) to you. If the team size is large or is not located in one location, then you may choose to do an email or web survey using tools such as Survey Monkey.
Following examples can be found in the Examples folder.
Perform a survey of a selected change effort and document your results (Change Curve 1.xlsm).
For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles. Do note that if any external links are mentioned below, they are for reference purposes only.