Implementation of change is one of the biggest challenges that companies regularly face. The need for change can arise because of a change in the external environment, or a change in strategy, or the need for improving organizational performance.Virginia Stair is an American writer. Her change management model is quite helpful in understanding the reasons behind failure of change management exercises in achieving their goals. The model says that change is introduced to break a late status-quo. By late-status quo Stair means status-quo that has been there for long. She calls change as the foreign element that has been introduced to break the status quo.
Once the foreign element or change has been introduced, there would be resistance to change from employees. After the initial resistance to change, employees start accepting change. But due to change their performance level starts going down. Many times companies simply revert to the previous status-quo just because of this drop in employee performance due to change. In her model Stair calls the stage in which employee performance drops, or is bumpy because of the change as the Chaos stage. Stair advises that the chaos stage is an integral part of any change management process and managers should not back down from this stage. They should stick through it.
Stair in her model says that once the Chaos stage is passed the employees start becoming used to change and are able to appreciate the need for it and its benefits. This stage is called Integration in Stair’s model. In this stage performance of employees once again starts improving rapidly.After Integration, the next stage in Stair’s model is New Status Quo. In this stage the change or foreign element of the first stage becomes the status quo. Employees are now firmly established and comfortable in this stage.
Managers can be more successful in implementing change if they keep in mind the Stair’s model while implementing change. Also one thing needs to be added is that change is more successful when it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Evolutionary change is gradual step-by-step change that is one step at a time. Revolutionary change on the other hand is big bang change introduced in one go. Successful companies are more about evolution than revolution.