How is change readiness a science?

When we say that change readiness is a science we don’t want you to think of people in white coats looking through microscopes. It’s not that kind of science. In many ways, it’s more complicated than that.

Change readiness is part of the social sciences – the study of people and organisations and how they adapt to change. The following features of change readiness attest to its scientific status.

1. Change readiness is research based

The ideas that underpin change readiness have their origin in scientific research. This research covers areas like the change process, learning theories, cognitive psychology, and management theories among many others.

These theories are established within the research community and are widely accepted.

2. Change readiness is evidence based

The theories and practices associated with change readiness have solid empirical evidence supporting their validity and efficacy. In other words, they  are supported by reliable data and have been shown to work in the real world. 

3. Change readiness has descriptive, predictive, and explanatory value

Change readiness theory explains human behaviour around change. It may not explain all human behaviour, but it does provide logical explanations about why people and organisations succeed or fail at making changes. These descriptions, predictions, and explanations have validity because they are based on valid theories, some of which are nearly a century old.

4. Change readiness gains are measurable

Change readiness can be assessed and improvements can be measured. We use a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments to measures improvements following our work with clients.

5. Change readiness accords with the philosophy of science

Science is based on established philosophical principles like logic, valid theory, reliable tools, supporting evidence, internal consistency of ideas, and the capacity for ideas to be falsified.  We don’t need to go into details here but change readiness accords with these philosophical ideas.

6. Change readiness is low risk

This may not be an attribute of its scientific nature, but it is an outcome of it. Because change readiness is based in research and evidence, along with the other things mentioned above, it is a low-risk venture. You can try other things and they may not work, but if you approach it properly, change readiness will improve your performance and change outcomes.