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Charting Readiness for Change


Disciplines > Change Management > Readiness for change > Charting Readiness for Change

Identifying subjects | Mapping readiness | See also


Here is a way of mapping out readiness for change. It is a simple approach that can be used to identify attention required to ensure full readiness for change in both individuals and groups.

Identifying subjects

Start by asking who it is that we need to understand as being ready for change. This can be a mixture of individuals and groups. A typical combination is:

  • A set of key influencers and senior staff who:
    • either need to actively engage with the change
    • or who could cause problems, such as by blocking or criticizing changes.
  • Entire groups or departments who:
    • will be required to change
    • or whose contribution to the change work is significant.

To make the work practical, there should not be more than a dozen or so people or groups, although more or less can work if you have the space and time.

Mapping readiness

A simple way of practical mapping is in a facilitated session where a large chart is put on the wall, typically with a couple of flipchart pages taped together. Draw a simple grid with two dimensions on it, showing willingness on one axis and ability on the other axis.

Write down the names of the selected subjects on Post-It Notes, one name per note. Then stick each one up on the chart in turn, after discussion to identify the level of willingness and ability to change.

Then discuss each, identifying what attention is needed to get everybody to the state of being both willing and able. Also look for clusters which may be addressed in the same way.

The grid below may be useful in classifying and responding to individual cases. The quadrant names give a simple indication of readiness and likely response.


Change Readiness Map

Low High










When there are frustrated people who are willing but not able, then work hard on all the factors needed to develop ability to change. First assess the need then provide it, for example with specific training or management support.

When people are ready, sustain their readiness, getting them engaged not only in the change but also in helping others to become ready.

Rebels who are able to change but who are not willing need careful attention. Find out the underlying motivations and address these as necessary. If nothing else works, you may have to move them elsewhere.

Those who are completely unready may need tender loving care to motivate them. Get them engaged. Show them the reasons and the benefits. Train them as needed. Make them ready, not rebels.

See also

Resistance to change, Stakeholder mapping


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