Change Curve Debunked?

Change Curve Debunked?

Some time ago I read an interesting post by Rob Robson on the change curve at his blog (Now defunct) .

This sparked some thoughts which I share below.

Change Curve debunked… really?

Rob asks is the Kubler Ross change curve an over simplification – yes of course… all models are over simplifications of reality – isn’t that what they were created for, to take a complex theory and enable the PRINCIPLES to be more easily understood?

He raises some interesting points that many authors do ignore that fact that many people welcome change. This is so very true, in OD and HRM we seem to assume the worst in people – when this is just not true. Sure people will reach different under change, and that is to be expected – our role is to ease that process – not offer therapy for change interaction!

We all need to remember that these are just models and not reality.

As a framework and common language they do have a value – indeed as he says

“By all means, keep the five-stage model in our armoury, but let’s not get carried away with it. Let’s not present it as an unequivocal truth. And let’s not let it get in the way of attempting to truly understand how people really experience change.”

As is said in the change management article there are 3 rules to leadership (or change):

  • Rule# 1 – people are different

  • Rule# 2 – people are different
  • Rule# 3 – people are different

And we need to treat each individual in the way that is appropriate for them.

Rob’s headline is to Debunk the Change Curve … which one (change curve) there are many? Rob focus’s is on the Kubler Ross curve – which as he points out was actually developed for use in a clinical environment, and users need to be aware of that.

Many practitioners will use a simplified model for use in a general business environment business environment.

What we do need to be careful of is people search the web (or a library), finding a model and using it without understanding what it is, where it come from or indeed its limitations.

All models have a place – the question we all need to ask is – is it here and now?


Mike Morrison

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  1. New Blog post: Change Curve Debunked?

  2. New Blog post: Change Curve Debunked?

  3. RT@rapidbi Change Curve Debunked?: Change Curve Debunked?
    Some time ago I read an interesting post by Rob Robson…