A change leadership model

May 28, 2009
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This model around change leadership came to be when a man named Aaron Antonowsky was doing a health study. He study women and menopause in Israel and part of his study group were women who had been confined to concentration camps during the second world war.

He found that several of these women were in good physical shape, surprisingly good shape considering what they would have had to endure. He became so intrigued that he studied this fact further a from his findings created a thesis about how we handle change.

He called it SOC, or Sense Of Coherence, and my view is that this model has several applications for change leadership.

About Sense of Coherence

SOC is built up of three different parts; meaningfulness, manageability and comprehensiveness. The higher and stronger the level of an individuals Sense of Coherence, the better the individuals ability to cope with change.

Meaningfulness

The first part in this change leadership model means to what degree the individual finds a meaning in what is happening. Does this make sense? If it is a terrible thing happening can I still create some meaning that makes sense out of it?

Comprehensiveness

Can I understand what is going on? Am I getting the kind of information I need to understand what is happening? And is it delivered in such a way to fit my preference of communication?

Manageability

Do I feel I have the tools, internal and external, do deal with the change? Do I feel I have access to the resources needed?

The applications of this change leadership model

So how is this of use in your skillful change leadership? Well, it might be obvious in some ways but here are a few suggestions for you as a leader that I can think of right off the bat:

  • Make sure you communicate the reasons behind the change (if they are available to you, otherwise find them or discuss them with your group at least)
  • When you communicate them make sure they are communicated in a way that is easy to understand for each member of your group. Ultimately adapt the information to each style of learning but least make it so a child could understand it if needed.
  • Help members of your group get their questions answered and have the knowledge where they can get more information, help och support. Provide trainings if needed or suitable

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