Transitioning through transformation: How to unlock success in change

Change is arguably one of the most difficult things an organisation or business can go through. It’s a leap into the unknown. What will be the outcome of this transformation? Will it stick or stagnate? How will employees respond to it? Brimming with all these questions, the unknown can be a hard track to traverse.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that 70% of change initiatives fail (Blanchard 2010). This could be attributed to the Mere Exposure Effect, which renders us sceptical of diverting from that which is familiar and therefore less likely to welcome transformation. The Loss Aversion effect also encourages us to oppose change in order to avoid the loss of what we already have rather than risking it for something we do not possess. But in order for a transformation to be successful, employees must be prepared to make the transition.

Communication is also a common issue within organisational change. A lack of communication between senior management, line managers and employees leads to a fragmented universal understanding of the change and its objectives, meaning employees are more likely to resist it. And when your employees are not on board with the transformation, it’s unlikely that it will occur.

So how can PRINT® help your teams transition through transformation and unlock organisational success?

PRINT® sees through our behaviour and identifies the reasons behind it. We all behave in a particular way, but PRINT’s  creator Dr Paul Hertz (the protégé of systems guru Dr W. Edwards Deming) discovered that these behavioural patterns can be roughly collated into 9 unique Unconscious Motivators®. These Unconscious Motivators® bring with them personal productive Best Self behaviours, unproductive Shadow behaviours, and Triggers (the actions which spark Shadow behaviour). Shadow behaviour blocks our acceptance of change. By identifying our own Shadow behaviour and Triggers, and those of our colleagues, we can alter our response to change, bringing about our Best Self behaviour. Being in Best Self enables our acceptance of change and makes the transformation process quicker and easier.

Organisational change can be monitored using the Classic Change Curve, developed from the psychological research of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. It represents the emotional cycle widely experienced in response to news of change. There are 7 stages:

  1. Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
  2. Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
  3. Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
  4. Bargaining stage: Seeking for a way out in vain.
  5. Depression stage: Final realisation of the inevitable.
  6. Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
  7. Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.

This cycle clearly demonstrates the emotional response to change that most of us experience. At each stage of this curve, we are seeking out certainty. Change is a challenge to that certainty and it can Trigger us into Shadow and create the emotional response observed.

By unveiling people’s Unconscious Motivators® and creating a deep understanding of their response to change, their Shadow behaviours and why the change Triggers them, managers can engage their teams in organisational change by tailoring the change process to their employees’ individual PRINTs. As a result, less Triggers will be ignited and more Best Self behaviour will be observed. And in turn, employees will be more accepting to the change, diminishing the time taken to put the process into action. Anticipating resistance to change and preparing in advance is the best way to minimise employee rejection and maximize the change’s potential. And since change relies on employee engagement, the knowledge that can be gained from PRINT® can be hugely beneficial to transformational success.


For more information on how PRINT® could benefit yourself or your organisation, email, visit our website and social media (Facebook: @discoveryourprint, Twitter: @Discover_Print, LinkedIn: Print Profile Ltd) or sign up to our mailing list. If you’d like to bring PRINT’s benefits to organisations and businesses, we offer Accreditation courses enabling in-house coaches and learning & development professionals to become certified PRINT® coaches.