What ideas come to mind when you think of the term ‘change readiness’?

I don’t know what the term means to you but let me suggest some ideas of what it means for some.

For some people change readiness is a feeling. It’s a feeling that the time for change has arrived. It’s time to make a change and move on. Perhaps they are frustrated with the status quo – stuck with something they no longer want. Perhaps they feel the call of something new and exciting. They feel ready for change.

For others, change readiness is about getting prepared to make a change. It’s about being organised – ready. About having as much in place as possible so the change goes smoothly.

Perhaps it means something else to you – if so, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

I don’t want to disagree with any of these ideas, but I do want to contribute something new. I have been researching change readiness for 20 years and I have come to a simple definition.

Change readiness is not the readiness to embark on the change project; it’s the readiness to succeed at the change project.

You might feel ready for a change, but are you ready to change?

Primarily, change readiness is neither a feeling nor is it about preparation. It is primarily about capacity. It is the capacity to be successful in the change process.

I’ll say some more about this next week but here’s the important lesson for today – when you think of change readiness, think about capacity first.

Steve Barlow
Author: Steve Barlow

Steve heads up The Change Gym. He is a change readiness specialist. You can contact him at steve@thechangegym.com.