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Strategic insights
The Change Management Process

Written by on May 19, 2006

Habits are a normal part of every person's lives, but it is often counterproductive when dealing with change. As humans we are not very good at changing. We see changes as a negative thing, something that creates instability and insecurity. A normal change management process often evolves trough number of mental phases:

  1. Denial
    Where we fight the change and protect status quo.
  2. Frustration and anger
    When we realize that we cannot avoid the change and we become insecure because of lack of awareness.
  3. Negotiation and bargaining
    Where we try to save what we can.
  4. Depression
    When we realize that none of the old ways can be incorporated into the new.
  5. Acceptance
    When we accept the change, and start to mentally prepare ourselves.
  6. Experimentation
    Where we try to find new ways, and gradually remove the old barriers.
  7. Discovery and Delight
    When we realize that the change will improve our future possibilities.
  8. Integration
    Where we implement the change.

Notice: These phases are usually referred to as the Change Curve. It is described and visualized in many varieties.

The change management model is built to optimize these phases - making the process more effective. The first four phases are very negative and counterproductive. The model solves this by quickly focusing on understanding (what's and why's) and the potential possibilities the change will bring with it. It tries to create energy from start to finish and ensure that everyone is committed.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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