An Analysis of the Essential Elements of CHANGE

The following graphic was shared with me last year by a valued colleague from the Student Achievement Division (she is now a director of education – Alexa), and since that day, I have used it regularly to engage in assessments of our work at the district level; work that is characterized by the notion of change…defined for me as work that involves enhancements to our current practices (not the  notion of throwing away the baby with the bathwater!).  It has helped me to understand the response that we receive to some of our initiatives – confusion, anxiety, resistance, frustration, treadmill and yes, when done correctly, even positive growth, enhancement and change!

Capturemanaging change

The framework has provided me with a guidance system that I now use when I engage in planning a change initiative – each element must be considered and addressed explicitly in the plan. Here are just a few of the questions that I wonder about when I am planning.

  1. What is the overall vision for the change and how are we explicitly communicating this vision in multiple ways to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in the vision and fully understand it?
  2. What are the necessary skills that the stakeholders require so that they are successful in achieving the vision? Which stakeholders already possess the skills? How can they take on more of a leadership role in this change initiative?
  3. WHY?  How does this change positively impact each of the stakeholders so that they see the reason for adopting the change?  What is the incentive for the change?  Where is their mindset about change/enhancement of current work?  How are we “honouring the past” by connecting this work to the already impactful work that is taking place in our schools?
  4. What and who are the resources to support this change? How are we making these resources readily available to the stakeholders? How can we ensure that we don’t overwhelm them with resources?  Are we giving them time to work with the resources?
  5. Do we have a clearly communicated action plan whereby stakeholders can see the pathway to achieve the vision?  So that they can enter into the learning journey at the appropriate point? To allow for them to measure their progress?


Take a moment and think about some of your “change” work; what was the resulting reaction?  Which elements were in place? What was missing?

Until Next Week…As always, I encourage you to consider our Board Learning Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being.  Are the stakeholders in your school experiencing any of these emotions? If so, how can you close that gap to alleviate those emotions and positively support your stakeholders in  increasingly moving towards the desired vision of student centered learning environments and pedagogy? What supports do you require to engage in this work?




5 responses

  1. This graphic is a great framework in order for SLP’s to ensure that we include all of the essentials so that we move towards change and not any of the difficulties when components are missing. My goal is to have this posted at meetings so that we can ensure we have all components as we move forward each day. A great framework as well as a check in tool with our groups.


  2. Jennifer Oussoren | Reply

    Thanks for this graphic, Nicki! Heidi brought it to my attention as we discussed some of my challenges when it comes to my problem of practice. It helps me pinpoint my responses and focus on what I need to enhance or revise in order to remove barriers to change.


  3. Nicki, The graphic would be a valuable tool for the “Tech Champions”. As innovators it would allow us to understand what is causing anxiety and frustration among our peers. It also demonstrates how visual aids can assist all learners!! Linda


    1. Thank you so much Linda! I will definitely pass this great bit of feedback on to Stacey. And so WONDERFUL to see a new name posting to the blog! I am thrilled. Thank you for sharing back and please be sure to do so again!! Nick


      1. Would it be possible to have a copy of “Managing Complex Change” that I would be able to print. I’m not sure if I could print it from your blog. I really like how simply the concepts are presented. It reminds me of the Q-chart that we use for higher level questioning. Simple but a very powerful and useful chart. Linda ( The time stamp of my blog reply seems to be off. I can’t stay up until 2:00 a.m!!!!)


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