Change management is often assumed that it takes immense amounts of time, but it doesn’t have to. Most of the “extra” time it takes is because of resistance, conflict, poor communication, over-planning and a reluctance to actually take action. Knowing the three phases of change management can be immensely helpful. You can use them as a guide or a light along the path into the path of your new organizational reality.
Phase One: Action – The first phase of change management is planning, thinking, guessing and imagining. It takes the most time just to get to this first phase taking action. This is the phase that everyone is afraid of because to take action means to be held accountable for results. You can’t know anything until you start to move, take action and begin seeing results.
Phase Two: Movement – The second phase of change management is movement, is a whole lot easier than the first. It usually takes an organization 3-6 months to get into the rhythm and flow of the movement phase. By this time, everyone has given up the idea of going back to the old way and people are more focused on problem-solving and moving the effort forward.
Phase Three: Momentum – The third phase of change management is Momentum. In this phase, it’s not just the efforts of the workers who are making the change happen. In this phase, the change has its own momentum that carries itself forward. The new habits have become ingrained and the actions that used to be difficult become second nature. Getting to this phase can take anywhere from nine months to two years and requires consistent action.
The three phases of change management can be a helpful roadmap for knowing what to expect when implementing change into an organization. Knowing the three phases of change management can make a real difference in your organization as you move toward breakthrough results and a more accountable culture.
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