The concept of the four phases of change was developed by Thomas B. Lawrence, Bruno Dyck, Sally Maitlis, Michael K. Mauws in their work The Underlying Structure of Continuous Change. This method understands the change as a cyclical issue, which has four phases and each of them requires specific people and resources. If the change is to be enforced, it is necessary in each phase to find the key figure who realizes the given phase of change. Individual phases and their key figures are described as follows:
- Using Influence to Sell Idea
- key figure: Evangelist - has an access to management and an overview of the informal networks of relationships among powerful people, has the ability to convince them
- Using Authority to Change Practices
- key figure: Autocrat - his authority and powers help promote a change and overcome resistance, the autocrat must have the influence and the status
- Embeding Change in Technology
- key figure: Architect - proposes changing systems (IT, financial, manufacturing, etc.), must know the organization and its existing systems
- Managing Culture to Fuel the Cycle of Change
- key figure: Educator - participates in creating a favorable climate for the innovation and change and the cultivation of the environment (corporate culture)
Source: Thomas B. Lawrence, The Underlying Structure of Continuous Change, MIT Sloan Management Review
What is the concept of the four stages of change in practice?
The concept can be used as a framework for the implementation of changes in the organization. The key is to gradually and continually implement all four stages, including the provision of key roles (characters) for each phase.