Home Tools Coaching Questions Soliciting the Pre-Mortem and Riding the Change Curve: Coaching Tools, Strategies and Concepts for Effective Planning

Soliciting the Pre-Mortem and Riding the Change Curve: Coaching Tools, Strategies and Concepts for Effective Planning

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These then are the central ingredients to keep in mind when initiating or encouraging others to initiate a major change effort:

• awareness about the change curve, commitment to the change decision

• capacity to sustain the system during the change

• adequate planning for and monitoring of the change effort.

Stabilization and the Change Curve

If awareness, commitment, capacity and planning are not present, then stabilization may be a more appropriate strategy than change. During a period of stabilization, one can encourage those involved in the potential change effort to become more fully acquainted with the dynamics of change and development—especially the change curve—while also working closely with these people to build their commitment to the change.

During a period of stability, an individual or organization may wish to do a better job with current resources, structures, procedures and so forth, in order to build up a capacity to sustain the disruptive effects of future change efforts. An HRD department may wish to work through its own internal human relations problems before seeking to help other departments work through their human relations problems. A high school teacher might wish to become a better lecturer or discussion leader as a precursor to learning how to conduct simulations or role-plays. A sales force may wish to become more intimately familiar with its current product line before taking on a new sales strategy involving an expanded portfolio.

Similarly, before embarking on a major change effort, an individual or organization is well-advised to build up its planning and evaluation capabilities. This is why the pre-mortem analysis makes so much sense. Any effective response to the change curve phenomenon requires a relatively long term planning perspective, as well as sensitive program monitoring and evaluation. No person or organization is likely to sustain commitment to a change effort, under conditions of reduced productivity and morale, unless there also is commitment to the benefits of long-term planning. Unless one is convinced that the monitoring and evaluation of systems now in place can do an adequate job of telling us, at an appropriate time, whether or not this change effort should be sustained in its present form, there will rarely be sufficient patience to wait out a change curve.

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