Leading Change: Kubler Ross Curve

Kubler Ross is commonly used to describe the five stages of grief; however, the same process is mirrored by stakeholders in most organisational changes. All reticent to change and consequent resistance is due to a fear of loss, losses of the norm and other possible options.

Elisabeth Kubler Ross describes the stages as standard defensive mechanisms that humans move through to manage change. She states that progression to the acceptance/decision is unique, is not linear in terms of time or even consequential.

Some people in your schools may spend longer than others in certain stages and even some that regress back to a phase they have already visited.  A skill of leadership is to recognise and act accordingly to where the organisation is and to where individuals lie.

DenialCreate Alignment
FrustrationMaximise Communication
ExperimentDevelop Capacity 
DecisionShare Knowledge.

Denial: If I don’t say it out allowed, it will not happen — a completely natural phase where the vision and alignment must be set.

Frustration: I believe this is misplaced fear, a telltale sign is that the anger is typically misplaced.

Depression: This is the critical stage as followers will bounce back to frustration f they are motivated to experiment.

Experiment: This stage involves the most hand-holding. Leaders should give followers the resources and time to progress, no matter how tentatively.

Decision: Once followers have bought in, use their participation to recruit and support others on their journey.


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