Setting the Stage for Change

Before any change-focused development can take place in your organization, it’s important to determine the health of your overall culture. Check the statements below that are true for your organization. Answer as honestly as possible.

  • A disproportionate amount of time is spent by employees complaining about what the company has done/not done for them. 
  • Promotion is primarily based on tenure.
  • When a key job comes up the emphasis is on “who is here” as opposed to “what do we need” is pervasive.
  • If work is not done, it goes to the next highest level; mediocrity is accepted or glossed over.
  • Real feedback is rare and people are treated with kid gloves.
  • Past practices drive employee behavior much more than present best practices and future needs.
  • Issues are not addressed-a “conspiracy of politeness” dominates how people behave, though nasty infighting and political game playing go on behind closed doors.
  • There is little turnover, though everyone knows that certain individuals are poor performers.
  • Technical specialists are commonly promoted into management positions and often block the energies and talents of those working under them.
  • The mind-set for change, as well as the process is limited. Change is considered in one department, as opposed to change beginning at the top.


Give yourself one point for each statement you marked true. Then read on to learn where your organization stands.

0 to 3: Congratulations! Your company culture will probably respond well to change!

4 to 7: Caution: There is a 50-50 chance that individuals will resist change-focused development.

8 to 10: Beware: People will not be invested in or energized by your plan.

Excerpted from:

Making Change Happen One Person at a Time:
Assessing Change Capacity within Your Organization
by Charles H. Bishop, Jr.
AMACOM, a division of American Management Association
ISBN 0-8144-0528-2, Hardcover, 260 pages, $27.95

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