The Four Streams of Change

The other day at LinkedIn, someone asked for a good definition of Change Management. Then by coincidence, via Bloglines, I came across a blog entry by organizational consultant Luc Galoppin called "Wellness? My Ass" (colorful title) where he has a diagram of the four work streams of change that must be mindfully managed in any major organizational change project:

~ Organization: The work here "is to define and implement a new organization structure and to define and realize new responsibilities for working. 'Who does what' is the big question this stream concentrates on."

~ Communication: The work here (which I would call Engagement) is perhaps the most difficult of all because "The main outcome of this stream is the social construction of a new reality in the hearts and minds of all stakeholders. 'What’s in it for me' is the big question you are trying to answer in this stream."

~ Learning: The work here involves "upgrading the skills and knowledge of the organization. Learning deals with three questions at the same time: '1. Why should I care?; 2. What is it you want me to do?; 3. How should I do it and how will I be supported?'"

~ Performance: The work here is "to implement the new ways of working. In short it aims at translating the three learning questions to practice."

While I would quibble a bit with Luc's four buckets of work, overall this strikes me as a very useful model for change management. It helps me to see what must be done for change projects to succeed...and where many change projects go astray.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Mar 2, 2008

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