Todays’ video explores change management basics – both from individual (psychology) and organisational (business) perspectives.
(Video script)
I’m Kim Tasso. Today we are going to look at some core ideas around change management. We all experienced massive change during Covid – because we had to. But without a major crisis change can be more tricky.
This is a particularly exciting topic for me – because it combines business management and psychology.

Personal change management

(Chameleon) Most people think about change management in the organisational context. But as a psychologist I like to consider the personal change challenges first. Organisational change doesn’t happen unless the people within that organisation change.
One of the most valuable models of change comes from a book called “Switch – How to change when change is hard” by Chip and Dan Heath.  They suggest a three essential elements of the change process:

  1. The rational (rider)
  2. The emotional (elephant)
  3. The first, small, specific step that you need to take

Let’s imagine you want to get fit. You KNOW rationally that you should exercise regularly. That’s the rider. But somehow that emotional elephant keeps you stuck firmly to the sofa. So you need to gain emotional engagement (I want to fit into those size 10 jeans for a party) to actually get up and take that first step – to leave your gym kit in the car, to have your running shoes by the door or book into that Pilates class.
An earlier video looks at the emotions we experience  – usually at different times – when facing a major change: shock, denial, anger, depression, bargaining and depression before acceptance.
William Bridges  also had a useful model that recognised we need to grieve the things that we leave behind when we change. He also explained that sometimes we enter a sort of no-man’s land when we leave behind the old ways before we start the new ways.
His model saw personal transitions involving endings, the neutral zone and new beginnings.
70-90% of our behaviour is habit – so it takes a lot of energy to do something different.
There is also what Schien reported in his analysis of fear of change – survival anxiety has to outweigh learning anxiety before you change.
To change behaviour you have to have a view of what drives behaviour – there are lots of competing models in psychology – and the explanations of human behaviour will lead you to different approaches to change management methods.
So do you subscribe to the behaviourist view (RAT), psychodynamic view (FREUD), Humanistic view (PLANT) or cognitive view (BRAIN).

Organisational change management

Most of the research shows that organisational change is extremely hard – with 75% of change initiatives failing.
To make sustainable change work we need to address THREE things – strategy, leadership and culture. And remember Peter Drucker’s famous saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”?
Many people have written good materials and models on change management – probably most famous is John Kotter at Harvard Business School (8 stage model).
The process I will be looking at is also from Harvard – a 10 stage model from Rosabeth Moss Kantor

  1. Analyse the organisation and its need for change
  2. Create a shared vision and common direction
  3. Separate from the past
  4. Create a sense of urgency
  5. Support a strong leadership role
  6. Line up political sponsorship
  7. Craft an implementation plan
  8. Develop enabling structures
  9. Communicate and involve people
  10. Reinforce and institutionalise change

So Leadership and vision are vitally important
One of my favourite books in this space is The Change Catalyst” by Campbell MacPherson.  He identifies the 10 most common reasons change initiatives fail and outlines the 10 things that are required for successful organisational change.
Another book I particularly like is The Neuroscience of Organisational Change”  because this shows the link between the personal change process and the organisational change process. The author finishes the book with her acronym for having a strong impact on motivation and employee engagement in change initiatives – SPACES:

  • Self-esteem
  • Purpose
  • Autonomy
  • Certainty
  • Equity
  • Social connection

So. Some thoughts on personal and organisational change to start you thinking about.
Thanks for watching and listening.

Related articles on change management basics:

Change management: The change process – Emotions when reacting to change (Video) (
Personal reflections on managing change – Coronavirus is here to stay (
Changing behaviour in the workplace to boost productivity – psychology | Kim Tasso
Don’t try to eat the white elephant whole – thoughts on change management and leadership (
Change management – Millennials, metaphors and resistance | Kim Tasso
Change management and Employee engagement (
Book review: “The change catalyst – secrets to successful and sustainable business change” by Campbell MacPherson (Change Management) (
Book review – Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organisational change by Esther Cameron and Mike Green (
Change management book review: “Switch: How to change things when change is hard” by Chip and Dan Heath (
Book review: Neuroscience for organizational change by Hilary Scarlett (
Your personal transition – Endings, neutral zone and new beginnings | Kim Tasso
ready to change? remember the change process | Kim Tasso
Change management and creativity – the adaptive third | Kim Tasso
Change management: Building Resilience – Regulation, Reframing, Relationships and Reflection (Video) (
6 top tips for change management (
Change managers in professional services | Kim Tasso
Reflections on Managing Change and Leadership (with book list) | Kim Tasso
Driving change in professional practices – the interesting bits? (
Helping people change: Coaching with compassion | Kim Tasso
Change management in a surveyors’ practice | Kim Tasso
Strategy development insights – curiosity culture and change | Kim Tasso