How do you create optimal change? We’ve been working with our Six Steps to Significant Change model for a while now - some of you have seen it and some of you have worked with us on it. So we thought it was about time that we shared it with the wider world because creating significant change calls for a more sophisticated approach.
The Six Steps model is based on a combination of change theory and our 15 years of experience of trying to make change happen. We find it an invaluable framework for designing change processes and learning from them. We designed it with big systems change in mind, but it equally works at a sectoral and organisational level.
The Six Steps are described in detail here, but put simply, change starts with understanding. The first two steps (understanding the need for change and diagnosing the system) are about raising awareness of the challenges an industry faces, working out what needs to change and how it might happen.
Then we move into system innovation where new thinking and practical action are key. Creating pioneering practice is about developing and showcasing new and better ways to do things.
In the next step, enabling the tipping, experiments are taken up more widely by an industry once they see how effective they are and increasing number of people and organisations are involved.
The final two stages (sustain the transition and set new rules for the mainstream) are about maintaining the change that has been created, often through widespread sign-up to voluntary commitments, new consumer standards or regulation.
But, clearly, change is not as simple as all that - it is not a linear process and you can go round different elements of the cycle a number of times. We need to keep learning all of the time to ensure that we are making optimal interventions.
So tell us what you think. For us, it is a really useful starting point in planning and learning about the change that is needed to get to a sustainable future. We are constantly learning about how to do this better with all our partners and industry groups and would love to hear about what others are doing too.