Change Is A Choice – The Change Equation

    Change is a complex issue within human systems or individuals. Change occurs with individual choice. It is extremely difficult, as history has shown, to systematically change other people’s beliefs and practices especially in an organizational setting. It is true that humans do change, often and willingly. It is not that we resist change per se but we resist being changed by others. There are two domains of change, which produce radically different outcomes.

    • That which drives change from a perspective of imposition
    • That which cultivates change from a perspective of collaboration

    The Change Equation: C = D x V x F > PC

    • C is the amount of change people will accomplish
    • D is their dissatisfaction with the status quo
    • V is their vision of a preferred future
    • F is their clarity about the first steps in how to instigate change
    • PC is their perceived costs of changing (the personal cost to people or institutions they care about) that reflects the potential for resistance to change

    It is depicted as a mathematic equation to show how all aspects interrelate. Change is created by modifying the status of any of these points but different outcomes are produced by adjusting different parts of the equation. If you have none or little of any of the aspects, the mathematical depiction shows how great an impact it has on producing change. If D, V or F are weak or zero then little change will occur, as zero times anything equals zero. If the perceived cost is very high, it will diminish weak dissatisfaction, vision or first steps. The equation demonstrates a relationship between each point, not a calculation.
    If someone perceives the cost of change as high, a lot of effort needs to be placed on the vision, dissatisfaction or first steps to propel them forward towards transformational change. By lessening the perceived cost perception, change can happen more easily.

    Vision and dissatisfaction are interrelated and co-dependent yet have different roles to play in how we engage life and choose to change or remain the same.

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