Change – A Five Stages Process

I was just reading an article by by Tucker Max.  For those of you that don’t know who he is you can always check his website but in many ways he is the Hunter S. Thompson of the digital age.  That is all I will say except to mention he is also kind of a guru when it comes to social media.  The article I am referring to had to do with crowd sourcing so naturally I took a lot of interest in it.  Much of what he talked about was very similar to material in a book I read a number of years ago called Macrowikinomics, New Solutions for a Connected World.  The authors, Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams had written this well before crowd sourcing had taken hold however they still captured the nature of change happening in the world of business that is being driven by technology.

If you don't understand, say so!
If you don’t understand, say so!

Both of the above references are similar even though they were written years apart.  What they did for me was reenforce my own belief that change is an unchanging process.  Change is continual however the process that directs change is absolute.  What changes is the content of the process!  And that, my friends, is the nature of change.

Where Macrowikinomics is talking about change in the world of business and finance, Tucker Max is describing changing tool kits.  The similarity between the two was the advancements and change happening due to technology.  No longer are we tied to major financial institutes, stock exchanges or corporations to move a business forward.  And we no longer have to attach our business concept to a “hold on to me” product, in other words something concrete.  We have entered a world were intellectual property, an abstract product, is as marketable and profitable as anything, for example, Ford or GE has to offer.  And they used the same process to establish their market, they just changed their content.

I have used this same process for most of my life which has allowed me to enjoy a plethora of careers.  I’ve driven taxi in Toronto, worked as a mental health therapist in Calgary, owned my own restaurant, worked as a policy analyst for the provincial government but I have always maintain one form of private consulting or another.  I like diversity and I like change.

Over the years I have developed my own concept of a five stage process for change.  Five seems to be a popular number when it comes to change.  Kubler-Ross had the five stages of grief, there are also the five stages of recovery, there is a process called the five steps of risk assessment used in occupational health and safety, five stage of psychiatric assessment and the list goes on.  I have my own five stages of change.

  1. Identification – recognizing the issue that needs change
  2. Acknowledgement – accepting that change is needed
  3. Analyzing – understanding what needs to be done and why
  4. Adjustment – creating solutions to make the change
  5. Activation – implementing the change

I’ve used this process my entire life and it was only after I recognized it that I began to embrace change.  I no longer resisted it because I had identified a tool that allowed me to quantify it.  And when you can quantify something it makes it easier to adapt.  So when I compared the two articles I mentioned above I was able to quickly recognize the process in relation to the differing content.  Both of these articles were using the same type of process but with different content to come to the same conclusion.  Change is constant and technology has come to play a big role in that.

I think this is why I have also come to embrace the philosophy of OpenForChange.  They have taken an idea that use to be the exclusive domain of charitable non-profits or privately funded think tanks and turn it into a profit based venture capitalist provider for charitable purposes.  They are a warehouse of intellectual property as well as a resource centre for community manpower.  They are in their infancy and ready to grow.  They are on the road to becoming for the charitable marketplace what the Open Models Company has become for the world of finance.  And they are doing it all by using the five steps of change.

Are you OpenForChange?

Just one man’s opinion


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