Alia Innovations (a nonprofit seeking to create an “unsystem” to drive transformative change in the child welfare world) shared a model with its Innovation Cohort that is relevant to all organizations undergoing a change process. (Download the diagram here.)
The process of change occurs over time. At the start of a change effort, an organization has the majority of its processes and policies from the current (or what will become old) way of doing things. Eventually, as the transformation progresses, new ways of behavior will be infused, but a total change has not yet occurred. This leaves the organization coping with old and new simultaneously – a transitional period affectionately referred to as “crazytown.” Those involved with the change must deal with ambiguity and sometimes conflicting processes until the new way of doing becomes the norm.
As part of a transformation effort, organizations must decide what to let go of to move beyond the “old way” and to consider what to add in order to establish the “new way.” It can be a time of awkwardness and vulnerability as the change process evolves but being aware of the transition (and acknowledging this with all those involved) can help normalize the confusing time during the middle of the process when the old and new overlap.
Change is never smooth or linear. By using Alia’s Organizational Change model, it may help your organization recalibrate its expectations and have the fortitude to survive the “crazytown” heart of the process.
Thanks, Amy for permission to share!