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Action Research (AR): A method of collaboration between a change agent and members of an organizational system. Key aspects of the model are diagnosis, data gathering, and feedback to the client group, data discussion and work by the client group, action planning and action. The sequence tends to be cyclical, with the focus on new or advanced problems as the client group learns to work more effectively together.

As-is state: This is the current situation in the organization, i.e. the pre-change people, processes, technology, structure, strategy, culture, etc.


Baseline: The level of performance which is used for comparison after the change. This may just be past performance, but where other changes are going on this needs to be adjusted to take account of their impact.

Benefit: A measurable improvement, resulting from change, which is considered advantageous by at least one stakeholder, and contributes to the overall organizational objectives.

Best Practices/Best Management Practices (BMP): A method or technique that consistently achieves superior results as compared to other means.

Change capable: The ability to adapt and evolve successfully again and again, even though specific change initiatives may vary dramatically in terms of scope, depth, and complexity.

Change curve is a way of understanding and visually representing the level of an individual's confidence, morale and roll competence through a period of change. From its starting level, for most people it rises slightly, dips, rises again and levels out. Effective change management involves ensuring that the dip is as shallow and narrow as possible and that the curb levels out higher than it started.

Change initiative: An organized, concerted effort to alter part of or all of an organization.


Change fatigue is neither an acceptance nor rejection of change, but is the state of being overwhelmed and exhausted by the amount of change going on and unable to absorb any more.

Change management is an approach to moving organizations and their stakeholders, in an organized manner, from their current state to a desired future state. Effective change management tries to do so in a manner which causes the least anxiety and resistance and therefore is the most likely to succeed.

Coaching and mentoring tend to be used interchangeably, although there are subtle differences. Both involve helping the subject, for example through questioning, challenging or educating them. Mentoring tends to primarily relate to identifying and nurturing their potential to improve their prospects or position, whereas coaching is usually focused more on a particular circumstance or issue and is often more educative. Mentors often use their own personal networks to assist the progression of their mentee, coaching can be less personal than this.

Communication channels are the routes used to pass messages, such as social media, email, verbal presentations, reports, etc.

Communications strategy usually outlines the

  • Background for the change – outlining what is going on in the organization as the change unfolds; the overall demands in communications

  • Communication Principles

  • Target audience or audiences

  • Objectives for each audience

  • Plan for where the communications efforts are to be coordinated

  • Roles & Responsibilities

  • Budget and other resources

  • Relevant standards & measurements – to ensure there are feedback loops which tell change management leaders if the communication efforts are having the desired effect


Deliverables: A term used in project management to describe a tangible or intangible object produced as a result of the project.  It can be a report, document, server upgrade or any other building block of an overall project.  Deliverables are laid out on a timeline and may delay overall completion if not performed/produced as scheduled.

Dynamism: continuous change in the organization.


External Factors: political, economic, social, technological, ecological, competition.


Force-field analysis (1): A qualitative tool that analyses the forces for and the forces resisting change. It implies two strategies, increasing the forces for change and decreasing the resistance to change.


Force field analysis (2) involves listing the factors (forces) which are in favor of a particular action/change and those which are against. Each factor is then given a score and the total of those scores determine whether the analysis is favorable or not. Organizations which do you force field analysis need to decide what will be considered in order to allocate a score what the range of scores will be. This can therefore be quite subjective approach, despite its seeming use of statistics.

Gap analysis (1): A process of assessing the current (as-is) state and the future (to-be) state in order to assess how to make the transition from one state to another.

Gap analysis (2) is a technique that can help organizations understand where they are, where they want to go and what actions are needed in order to get there. It is the process of assessing the current, as-is state and the future, to-be state in order to assess how to make the transition from one state to another.

GROW process: A popular structure for coaching is the GROW process, whereby the coach guides the conversation with the person being coached to talk about the

  • Goal – what they want to achieve

  • Reality – where is that person now, what things are getting in their way

  • Options – what can be done in order to help them reach their goal

  • Will and wrap-up – create a plan of action and the motivation to carry out that plan

Incremental change: Continuous improvements made to the organization in an ongoing, adaptive manner. These are gradual changes to the current state. Incremental change does not usually challenge the existing culture of an organization.

Internal Factors: strategy, leadership, structure (i.e., functional, product, geographic, organization), process, physical layout, technology, culture and people, policies and practices.


Intervention: Any action on the part of the change agent. Intervention carries the implication that the action is planned and deliberate and presumably functional. Requires valid information, free choice, and a high degree of ownership by the client system of the course of action.


Lagging indicator: These are metrics which demonstrate the performance levels in the future state, once achieved. Examples would include post-change initiative profit levels or customer satisfaction.

Leading indicator: These are metrics which give an indication of the progress of the change initiative towards the future state performance levels. Examples would include the number of enquiries about a product due to be released or the occupancy levels of a building which, once empty, can be closed and sold.

Management System Processes:

  1. Setting objectives

  2. Planning strategy

  3. Establishing goals

  4. Developing company [organizational] philosophy

  5. Establishing policies

  6. Planning the organization structure

  7. Providing personnel

  8. Establishing procedures

  9. Providing facilities

  10. Providing capital

  11. Setting standards

  12. Establishing management programs and operational plans

  13. Providing information control

  14. Activating people


Metrics / measures: These are specific statistics which demonstrate the progress or success of the change. Individual lagging or leading indicators are metrics.

Network Influencers:

  1. Central connectors – informal go-to people who have influence with people in the organization.

  2. Information brokers – provide information.

  3. Boundary spanners – have far reaching links across groups.


Objective: The key aim of the organization which the benefits contribute to and the dis-benefits detract from. For example, improving market share, expanding services, or minimizing risk.

Organizational culture: Is the shared story of the individuals within it. It is the deeply ingrained social fabric of the organization that drives people’s behavior. It is made up of the values, belief systems, dominant leadership styles, collective unspoken assumptions, stories, myths, legends and rituals as well as its character and orientation.

Organizational development (1): The system-wide application and transfer of behavioral science knowledge to the planned development, improvement, and reinforcement of strategic instructions, and processes that lead to organizational effectiveness.


Organizational development (2): An effort to deal with or initiate change in organizational culture through Action Research (AR).

  1. Manifest a normative-reeducative educational philosophy because it encourages individuals and groups to reexamine core values, beliefs, and operating assumptions about themselves, other people, and the way their organizations function.

  2. Is a social technology that helps human systems remain competitive in an era where organizational operating domains are turbulent and all labor systems are wide open to the forces of change.


Organizational development (3): Planned, long-range, involves a change agent or agents, focuses on organizational processes, tasks, and structures; addresses the development of individuals as well as organizations; and uses behavioral science techniques to generate valid data for both individual and organizational decisions.


Organizational development (4): Is a deliberately planned effort to increase an organization's relevance and viability. OD is referred to as, future readiness to meet change, thus a systemic learning and development strategy intended to change the basics of beliefs, attitudes and relevance of values, and structure of the current organization to better absorb disruptive technologies, shrinking or exploding market opportunities and ensuing challenges and chaos. OD is the framework for a change process designed to lead to desirable positive impact to all stakeholders and the environment. OD can design interventions with application of several multidisciplinary methods and research besides traditional OD approaches.

Organizational development (5): Organizational development is a long-term effort led and supported by top management, to improve an organization's visioning, empowerment, learning, and problem-solving processes, through an ongoing, collaborative management of organizational culture-with special emphasis on the consultant-facilitator role and the theory and technology of applied behavioral science, including participant action research.

Outcome: A change of state (from as-is to to-be, or a stage along the way). This may be as the results of a product being made available or a transformational change being completed. Examples include revised team structures, revised working practices, ability to access IT systems on the move, or a production line going operational.

Performance audit (1) - Audit methodology (ICMA):

This audit required an immense amount of fieldwork, as each HR element (e.g., labor negotiations, classification/compensation, and employee benefits) is multi‐faceted and full of nuance. As such, the audit team covered extensive territory in its efforts to research and examine as much key data and information as possible. During our review, the Office performed the following activities:

  • Conducted a historical examination of key events and audits/studies of the County’s HR function

  • Evaluated HRD’s policies and procedures against the State’s Local Agency Personnel Standards (LAPS)

  • Performed financial research and analysis of historical HRD expenditures, numbers and costs of positions, costing of salary and benefits mechanisms, and evaluation of potential cost savings areas

  • Interviewed nearly all HRD staff, executive and HR professional staff from most of the County’s agencies/departments, representatives from some employee labor organizations, representatives from the Retired Employees’ Association of Orange County, some former HRD executives, and representatives from some Board Offices

  • Reviewed all major employee benefits areas, including, but not limited to: significant employee benefits programs, including health plans, defined contribution plans, and employee assistance programs; performance guarantees with vendors; and policies and procedures

  • Reviewed County Classification and Compensation Plans and associated policies and procedures

  • Reviewed Labor Relations information such as Memoranda of Understanding and examined labor negotiations working papers

  • Benchmarked HR organizations and HR issues in comparable public jurisdictions

  • Examined HRD‐related databases and programs such as: OnBase document management system, CAPS Data Warehouse, CAPS+/AHRS, and the NEOGOV automated recruiting system

  • Examined HRD contracts with outside vendors for a variety of HR services

  • Developed a survey to ascertain stakeholder feedback on both HRD and the Countywide HR system


This performance audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that the audit team plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on audit objectives. The audit team believes that the evidence obtained in this audit provides a reasonable basis for its findings and conclusions based on audit objectives.


Performance audit (2) - Audit methodology 


PESTLE analysis looks at the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental factors which affect an organisation. It is a way of ensuring that a situation has been thought of in a practical manner from all sides. It can be combined with some of the other diagnostic models. It is a more practical and less conceptual method of analysis.

Product: A tangible item which the organization requires in order to make a change and realize a benefit. Examples include IT systems, new teams, buildings, machinery or research results.

Qualitative: Measures which indicate a level of performance but which cannot be given a specific value. For example, customer satisfaction can be measured through satisfaction scores, but the degree of value of the increase in these scores cannot be quantified.

Quantitative: Measures which indicate a level of performance and where the increase or decrease in these measures can be valued. For example, staff turnover is a measure whose variation can be given a fixed value (n.b., value does not have to be financial).

Resistance Management Plan: The resistance management plan is the identification of what resistance might look like, where it might come from and what steps will be taken to mitigate or prevent the resistance. This is a proactive effort to address concerns and build support early in the project, rather than waiting until implementation.

Return on investment (ROI): specific quantitative measure, the ratio between the amount of money spent on achieving the change (known as cost of change) and the financial value of the improvement (the return). The return needs to take into account both the positive value of any improvements (known as benefits) and the negative value of any disadvantageous results of the change (known as dis-benefits). Using this method requires organizations to attempt to put a financial value on benefits which may not be financial, such as improved staff morale, customer satisfaction or increase reputation, hence the move in many organizations towards a portfolio of financial and non-financial measures which give a rich picture of the value of the change.

Resources: financial, human, knowledge, technology.


Sponsors/Sponsorship: Roles in project management.

  • Executive Sponsorship (or Project Sponsor): A term that applies to different business areas, including change management. This concept is important in change management because it can make or break a program. With executive support, change programs are much more likely to succeed. Without it, obstacles will be harder to overcome. And change managers won’t have the credibility they need when that need arises.

  • Mediator sponsor: A leader who is able to help resolve any conflicts between individuals or teams affected by changes.

  • Planner sponsor: A highly process-oriented senior manager who is able to assist in the planning and implementation of change activities.

  • Primary sponsor: The leader who authorizes and is responsible for the change initiative. Typically they lead the change management leadership team and provide the funds for the project.

  • Speech-maker sponsor: A leader with the undesirable trait of assuming that merely making a presentation on the need to change constitutes sufficient personal involvement in the change effort.

  • Sponsor: A senior leader inside an organization who supports the change management leadership team.

  • Sponsorship Roadmap: The sponsorship roadmap provides specific details about what the executives and senior leaders need to do to make the change successful. In all four of the Prosci® change management benchmarking studies, effective sponsorship was identified as the number one contributor to success. The three high-level responsibilities of the sponsor are active and visible participation, building coalitions and communication of business messages about change. The sponsorship roadmap is the document that puts real actions to the role of the sponsor.

  • Unblocker Sponsor: A senior leader with sufficient authority whose intervention may be sought in removing difficult organizational obstacles which hamper progress during the change.

Stakeholder: A person or group which has an interest in the process or result of a change initiative. They do not necessarily have to be directly or indirectly affected by a change initiative to be a stakeholder; some stakeholders are unaffected but can wield direct or indirect influence, such as damaging an organization’s reputation or encouraging public support. Examples of stakeholder groups include: customers, groups of employees, people with specific roles within the organization, the media, government, society, competitors, trades unions, campaign groups, etc.

Stakeholder analysis: is about identifying who has an interest in or influence over a change initiative and what their characteristics are.

Stakeholder analysis: involves thinking about:

  • Who the stakeholder… or stakeholder group is

  • What might be their needs and expectations from the potential change

  • What that stakeholder or stakeholder group’s level of influence (or power) within the organization is<

  • What their likely attitude towards the potential change

  • What barriers or potential sources of resistance could prevent the individual or group moving towards the change?

  • If the stakeholder is a group, what differences would the change make to the roles, processes and structures in that group?

Stakeholder mapping: involves representing stakeholders on a grid that displays their level of power (or influence) on one axis from low to high, and their likely attitude toward the change on the other from positive to negative .

Strategic organizational change (SOC): Leverages opportunities in the external business environment through changes in the internal workings of the organization. By considering multiple dimensions of the change process, change leaders become adept at understanding where they are now, what changes need to be made, and how they can implement those changes and build in ongoing adaptation and evolution.


Strategic planning process:

Step 1. Initiating and agreeing on strategic planning process.

Step 2. Identifying organizational mandates.

Step 3. Clarifying organizational mission and values.

Step 4. Assessing the external environment; opportunities and threats.

Step 5. Assessing the internal environment; strengths and weaknesses.

Step 6. Identifying the strategic issues facing the organization.

Step 7. Formulating strategies to manage the issues.

Step 8. Establishing an effective organizational vision for the future.


Strategic principles:

  1. Who – strategic leader makes a commitment.

  2. Why – articulate aims and purposes.

  3. Where – determine context to be managed.

  4. When – make choices about duration.

  5. What – select content of strategy.

  6. How – make decisions about process.



  1. Strengths. One or more skills, distinctive competencies, capabilities, competitive advantages, or resources that the organization can draw on in selecting a strategy.

  2. Weaknesses. The lack of one or more skills, distinctive competencies, capabilities, competitive advantages, or resources.

  3. Opportunities. Situations in which benefits are fairly clear and likely to be realized if certain actions are taken.

  4. Threats. Situations that give rise to potentially harmful events and outcomes if action is not taken in the immediate future. They must be actively confronted to prevent trouble.


T-Groups: Trainers and participants joined in the common task of working in a group and learning from the work at the same time.


To-be state: this is the desired future situation in the organization, i.e. the pre-change people, processes, technology, structure, strategy, culture, etc.

Training needs analysis is the process of identifying the knowledge and skills gaps of individuals, teams, functional units or organizations in order to develop a learning program to address those gaps. Training needs analyses often form the basis of long-term, business as usual learning programs, ensuring that the training remains relevant and aligned with organizational need. For this reason, the impact of the change initiative's TNA on the organization's ongoing learning program needs to be considered.

Transformational change: Change which is not merely an extension of, improvement or modification of the current state of an organization, but one which involves a complete and fundamental change to the organization, involving changes to processes and systems, people, structure and/or culture.

Unblocker sponsor: A senior leader with sufficient authority whose intervention may be sought in removing difficult organizational obstacles which hamper progress during the change.

VIRO Framework analysis: The VIRO framework is a scalable set of four questions which can be used to focus down onto an individual resource or capability or up to an entire organisational market. It is based on four questions asked about: Value, rarity, imitability and organisation. Value concerns the value of the item in question to the organisation - does it enable the organisation to achieve something new or reduce/avoid a threat or risk? Rarity relates to both availability and the right to exploit a resource such as with intellectual property. Imitability relates to how difficult it is for other competitors to enter the market. The more difficult it is for somebody else to imitate what the organisation is doing the higher the barriers to entry into the market. The final question, organisation, asks whether the organisation is ready, has the capacity, willingness, etc. to make use of the resource or capability. It may be that one would use one of the other frameworks to ensure that all aspects of the organisation question are covered. This framework differs from some of the others as much of the focus is on external factors and actors.

Vision statement: The change vision statement is a pithy, inspiring description changed organization will look like. It should be short, punchy, easily understood, appeal to all communication styles and be memorable. If leaders cannot easily, quickly and convincingly encapsulated a change, it is unlikely they will persuade others to buy into it. The vision should be what the organization returns to when confusion develops about the change and what it uses to enthuse stakeholders to support the change.

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