How do you control changes

The change curve: this is how you control changes in your company!

The change curve model is intended to help entrepreneurs to better understand changes in the company and to control them in a targeted manner.

"The only constant in the universe is change," said Heraclitus of Ephesus. In business life, this constant ranges from top-down changes by management to “small” changes in production. Change projects often go wrong, because the consideration of flipping the switch so that everything works better from tomorrow excludes the central human factor in many cases.

The change curve, also known as the change curve, describes the emotional experience of people and employees in change processes. Which phases do people and employees experience on the emotional level when they are confronted with a major private or professional change? This can be the restructuring of the company as well as the role change from employee to manager.

1. shock

Change is first and foremost an emotional shock. Humans are and will remain creatures of habit and associated with this is always a bit of repression. The statement "I am certainly not affected by this - that is only something else's business" is more common with some people, with others less often, but it shows how people tend to repress.

2. Grief and Depression

The first shock is followed by grief; in bad cases even depression. In this phase it is not possible to make a difference - there is no willingness to change. As a manager, it is important to be sensitive to the situation so as not to overwhelm the employees.

3. Farewell

After the mourning comes the farewell. The old is let go and slowly it becomes clear that it is inevitable to deal with new circumstances. In this situation, too, it makes no sense for the manager to exert pressure. The willingness of the person concerned to change is still very low.

4. Acceptance

During this phase, the willingness to accept the new situation and change something slowly grows. It is now the manager's task to point out future perspectives. The energy that this effort requires has now been sensibly invested.

5. Try it out

The new circumstances arouse interest. Maybe the change also has advantages. Getting used to the new role or position begins.

6. Tune in

The new situation, role or organizational structure becomes familiar. Now it is important to settle in so that everything runs smoothly in the future and stability can return.
... until the next change!

As a manager, it is necessary to classify the employees in the change curve. Is the employee still in the grief phase or is he ready for something new? The answer determines the time to tackle things. New strategies or structures cannot be implemented if employees are still in shock.

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Dr. Patrick Fritz is the managing partner of FRITZ KG. Lecturer at various universities. Dissertation at the University of Innsbruck with Prof. Dr. Hans Mühlbacher at the Institute for Strategic Management and Marketing. Studied business administration, then worked as a research assistant at the research center for product and process engineering at the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. Active in executive development for over 10 years. The leading specialist in executive feedback.