Change Magician

June 23, 2021

Do you ever wish you had a magic wand?  I know I have.

Leading an organization through a complex change can sometimes feel as though it requires a magician, not just a manager.

The last 18 months have presented plenty of opportunities to test our skills at leading change. Everything, from how we communicate internally to what services we offer, has been affected by the pandemic.

How successful have you been as a leader in helping your team to navigate these last difficult months?

If you’ve sometimes stumbled, maybe it’s because your magic wand wasn’t loaded with all of the components that are necessary to accomplish lasting change.

One of the best-known models for managing complex change, the Knoster Model, identifies six essential components or ingredients for successful change:

  • Vision – the “big picture,” goal, or desired result of the change process
  • Consensus – agreement, endorsement or “buy-in” to the vision
  • Skills – knowledge, expertise and competencies required to accomplish the change
  • Incentives – benefits to the individual or team for supporting and accomplishing the desired change
  • Resources – structure, tools, finances, time, training, leadership, and staffing to support the effort
  • Action Plan – a clear, specific, process for accomplishing the change including goals, timelines, measurements, and problem-solving strategies.

The strength of this model is that it identifies some of the symptoms that arise when a change effort is going astray and ties the symptom to the absence of one of the six components.

As a leader when you hear the rumbles, feel the chaos, or see things come to a grinding halt, look at this model to see what you are missing. Add that component back into the mix and POOF! It’s like you’ve used your magic wand to get the process back on track.

Here’s what Knoster had to say about the symptoms of change gone awry.

  • Confusion – results from a lack of vision or poor communication of the vision
  • Sabotage – comes from a lack of consensus among the team
  • Anxiety – arises when team members do not feel they have the skills to be successful at change
  • Resistance – shows up when there is no incentive to change from the status quo; when there are no apparent benefits to making the change
  • Frustration – appears when there are insufficient resources to make the change process successful
  • False Starts and Mis-steps – come up in the absence of a clear action plan.

Did your business experience any of these symptoms as you tried to make changes during the pandemic? If so, go back and look at what was happening in your organization. Can you pinpoint what was missing?

More changes are likely on the horizon for your business as we emerge from the pandemic period. Use this model to make sure your magic wand is loaded will all the ingredients essential for your success.

People will think you are a magician – or a miracle worker. We’ll never tell them how you were able to make it all happen.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha and Chris