Agility, Change Fitness and Change Readiness

Agility is directly linked to personal change fitness and organisational change readiness. The more of these 2 factors the organisation has, the more agile it is. 

Few people have much knowledge of what change fitness and change readiness mean or how they function. They are both areas of specialisation for us – at the PhD level and beyond. We have written books on them, presented on them at conferences in Australia and Europe, and taught them to Master’s students at the University of Tasmania. Let’s take a quick look at these concepts.

Change Fitness

Change fitness is a psychological concept. It refers to the psychological capacity to be successful at change.

A way to think about it is to think in terms of physical fitness – a familiar concept to us all. Suppose you manage a sporting team and you want to win. What’s important to you? Well, you need to ensure everyone on the team knows the rules of the game. And they need to know how to play together as a team. You also need a good strategy – making the right choices that will allow you to maximise your team’s strengths and exploit the vulnerabilities of your components. These are all necessary if you want to win.

But what about fitness? You might think that is a given, and it should be. But you can’t take it for granted. As the manager, you must ensure all team members are fit enough to go the distance and strong enough to maximise their capabilities.

It’s the same with change fitness. Change fitness empowers people to be successful at change – to go the distance till they succeed. This is a set of abilities that can be measured and developed.

Change fitness is important all the time because change is always happening and people perform better when they are fit for change. Further, the more they will be in control of their own change process and require less direct management.

We have tools and technologies to measure change fitness and help people develop more of it. 

Change Readiness

Change readiness is also about the capacity to be successful and perform well. But it operates on a different scale to change fitness.

Returning to our sports example above, if change fitness is the internal psychological strength that empowers people to go the distance and to perform well, change readiness is how the team and the club support each individual player to perform their best and be successful. It refers to key factors that must be aligned so players can exercise their fitness and maximise their performance in the game. Components of change readiness are culture, strategic leadership, and operational management and processes. Although different, there is a direct link between change fitness and change readiness.

Change readiness is important for sustainability on multiple levels. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

“The timid and the fainthearted, and people that expect quick results, are doomed to disappointment.”
― W. Edwards Deming