‘Change fitness’ is a term describing the psychological capacities that enable people to be succeed at the change process. For over 40 years, people have understood the change process, but only recently have we discovered the psychological capacities needed to be successful at it. It is easy to understand if you compare it with physical fitness, as in the following scenario.
Sally is a champion swimmer. She goes to the pool every morning and swims 25 laps before heading off to work. She regularly participates in swimming comps and has a room full of trophies and medals. She has been trained by some of the best coaches in the business and is in top physical condition, and at the top of her game. Ronny loves going to McDonalds. In fact, you will see him there every afternoon after work. He supersizes everything he buys. But he also enjoys swimming. He goes to the pool whenever the weather gets too hot, and very enthusiastically does a few laps. Now, if you were putting a team together and wanted to win the competition, which of these two swimmers would you select? Enthusiastic Ronny, or champion Sally?
You’d be silly not to pick Sally. Enthusiasm doesn’t count for much if your capacity is low. To be successful at sport, you need to be fit. Even good technique isn’t much good if you don’t have fitness.
Fitness is more fundamental than technique or attitude. It’s about basic body-stuff: how quickly your cells take up oxygen, the capacity of your lungs, the tone of your muscles. It’s how well your body works under stress.
Change fitness is similar. It’s about the psychological resources you bring to change that help you be successful at it. It’s not about having technical information, or being the most enthusiastic person on the team. You can have all the technical information in the world, or be super-enthusiastic, and still have low change fitness.
There are seven major dimensions of change fitness, and they all have to do with how you think, how you operate, and how you see the world. They are not about how much knowledge you have of your industry or how good you are at your job.
If you want to know more about change fitness or change fitness coaching, I invite you to engage with us.
Dr Steve Barlow