Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated March 24, 2021

Organizational Theory Design and Change: Models for Success

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Organizational Theory Design and Change: Models for Success

Change is one of a few things that’s guaranteed in this world, though its trajectory is difficult to project. Change has various industry applications, and must be managed if companies are to experience benefits.

Organizations must continually transform to remain relevant in competitive industries. Change management theory involves introducing new processes and procedures, but it’s easy to neglect areas which require significant attention.

There is so much to consider, from the psychological response of your team to external factors. Introducing change without some form of organizational theory design and change can result in devastation.

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As a change champion, you’re responsible for creating a culture of acceptance and sponsorship. If staff don’t support new initiatives, the likelihood is they’ll fall on their face.

More and more businesses are rightfully shifting their focus onto the people side of change. Companies have slowly started to realize it’s people who drive change, not procedures.

With a focus on the people responsible for making change happen, initiatives can be introduced with greater confidence. Above all else, it’s your team who’ll need to change if your new projects are to be a success.

Encouraging your team to embrace a new mindset certainly isn’t easy, especially when you’re requesting an overhaul of practices and approaches. To make life easier, businesses can capitalize on one of many change models.

By directly applying theory to your situation, staff will more effectively adapt and evolve. This can help you get stakeholders on side, and ultimately align your team’s objectives with the best interests of the company.

If you’re keen on shaking things up and retaining the interest of your team, why not engage them with fun games and activities?

But what organizational theory design and change is worth considering? Read on and you’ll be pleased to learn more from these great models:

Organizational Theory Design and Change: 3 Models to Greatness

Nudge Theory

One of the more interesting change models out there, mostly because it’s not a model per se. In fact, it’s more of a mindset and group of tactics which can be laid out to make change seem more appealing.

It is based on the principle of ‘nudging’ change along, which is arguably more effective than traditional means of enforcement.

No one likes being told what to do, so the more you pressurize your team to change, the greater the likelihood they’ll reject it. Rather than instructing staff, you should instead offer encouragement while suggesting a path to follow.

When staff are allowed to decide for themselves, with freedom of choice they’ll reach their own positive conclusion. This is facilitated by giving your team options, while encouraging staff to act favorably.

By correctly introducing nudges, you’ll reduce staff resistance significantly. Nudges should be indirect, open-ended, subtle, and most importantly open to discussion. Under no real restraints, staff will be incentivized by flexibility.

It’s important to acknowledge the relative vagueness of this model, which should be used as a tool rather than perceived as literature.

It can be used in conjunction with various tools and techniques, which are available at your disposal.

The fundamentals you should embrace with the nudge theory are as follows:

  • Define changes
  • Empathize with staff, understanding perception and point of view
  • Use evidence
  • Stress the optional nature of change, which is a choice
  • Incorporate feedback
  • Monitor short-term wins
  • Limit obstacles

By utilizing this model, you’ll realize how much there is to gain from leaving staff to understand the importance of each solution. As a consequence, they’ll be more motivated to see things through.

You’ll also solidify a strong connection, forming bonds which generate internal loyalty. It’s refreshing to look at change from your team’s point of view, and this increases the potency of it.

The nudge theory is a great complement to more formal approaches.

The Satir Change Management Model

This can be applied as an effective way to predict how change affects performance. It offers assessment through the five stages of grief model, which are as follows:

  • Late Status Quo
  • Resistance
  • Chaos
  • Integration
  • New Status Quo

It focuses on tracking performance rather than influencing it. It’s best to use this model with complementary theory, otherwise you’ll be left with a means for measuring performance without a method for changing it.

Late Status Quo

This is your starting point, which looks at how things are currently done. Performance will probably be steady during this stage, and your team comfortable. Here you can encourage staff to seek new information and improvements.


Usually accompanied by dismissal and denial, expect resistance when new components are suggested. This can be identified when employee output decreases, and tackled by reaffirming necessity and commitment to change.


Your team is bound to react negatively to change. This needs to be addressed otherwise productivity will suffer. Incorporate feedback, offer support as a mentor, and answer questions as best possible. Measure performance accordingly, understanding this will be a low point.


Here you’ll witness productivity on the rise, a reassuring notion for all stakeholders. Enthusiasm will begin to take hold, but there will however be problems along the way. What’s most important is you can limit their negative impact.

New Status Quo

New procedures will eventually settle in, and will become established as the new status quo. This gives you an opportunity to analyze change, and assess whether each process was worthwhile.

You’ll be provided solid evidence regarding what’s successful and what isn’t, meaning you can measure the success of change based on concrete results. Your findings can then be utilized during future change initiatives.

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