The Gap or Transition Model quite simply says that in any change situation there is
- a current situation
- a desired future situation
- a change strategy to move from current to desired state.
- and transition states - states that the organisation will go through in moving from current to desired future.
In this model a change strategy encompasses a view of the future (a vision perhaps) and the key change issues to be addressed together with plans and strategies to tackle them, probably in the form of a package of initiatives.
- It focuses on the people as well as the technical/business aspects.
- Covers arrangements to manage the “muddle-in-the-middle” of the transition state
- Often specifies some form of “change or transition organisation” to be set up.
- Often has three roles: Change Sponsors, Agents, and Targets.
This is the basis for much of the current change management consultancy work.
In practice the situation is more complicated. As the organisation goes through a change process unexpected and unforeseen events arise to throw the changes off course. It is unrealistic to develop a change strategy in the hope and expectation that one can implement it without adapting and updating it.
One needs to regularly "Take Stock" to update and amend the change strategy to take account of changed circumstance and new information. More along the lines of the Jacob's Ladder model below.
Any operation is faced with the need to change, needs to develop its change strategy through the following seven steps:
Seven Key Steps
- Look at Current Situation - analyse it in some depth
- Focus on the Future -- formulate a "view" or a "vision describing a desired future situation - the sort of situation that it feels would be satisfactory
- Focus on the gap and Identify the Key Change issues - the things that must change if the desired future situation is to be achieved.
- Formulate projects and plans - to tackle and resolve those key change issues.
- Bring the above together to formulate an Overall Change Strategy and an Initial Game Plan - the first steps.
- Establish means of managing the transition - the "muddle in the middle".
- Regularly stock-take to see if the change strategy is still valid, and adjust where required.