Change Success: Calculating your change preparedness 

How do you calculate change readiness? 

With change initiatives failing 70% of the time, examining how to prepare yourself and your team for change before you start is important. 

We often believe we’re ready for change but don’t fully prepare for the implementation to happen. Even if there’s a plan in place, if you’re not capable of making the change or your team doesn’t believe in the transformation, you’ll find it difficult to make the proposed change a success. 

Dr Chris Mason, the founder of Mindshop and dedicated researcher, launched some new thinking in 2014 after eight years of studying how to successfully implement change. Using a statistically proven, science-based model, he created the following formula for change success. 

How to Use the Formula 

The formula for change preparedness is: 

R (Readiness) x C (Capability) x B (Beliefs) = Change Potential 

Readiness, the first factor, represents how prepared your organisation is for change. Do you have a plan? Do you have all the tools in place for creating this change? Does your team know and understand the change due to occur? 

Capability, the second factor, calculates how capable you are. Do you have enough resources, whether that’s personnel or funding? Are you able to carry out the work that will be necessary to facilitate change? Do you have the connections you need to make this change happen? 

Beliefs, the third factor, measures how much you as an individual, your team, or your organisation believes in the change that you’re planning on making. Does your team understand why you’re making this change? Have you clarified the legitimacy of undertaking this transformation? Are the people in your organisation emotionally on board with this change? 

Step-by-step guide for using this formula: 

  1. Introduce the subject of the change you’re discussing with your team. On a board, write out the formula R (Readiness) x C (Capability) x B (Beliefs) = Change potential 
  1. Explain how preparing for change means more than just having a plan, and how putting in place the resources and engagement necessary for this change will be key to its success. 
  1. Write down a readiness score on a scale of 0 – 10 for the business. Note this down under the “R” in your formula. 
  1. Repeat the process for Capability. Be honest with yourself and with the team on whether you are capable now, or whether you will be with any additional resource you’re aiming to use. 
  1. Repeat these steps for the last factor, Beliefs. This is where listening to your team’s honest feedback is important – they may have committed in principle to the change but understanding their authentic engagement will help you to score accurately. 
  1. Calculate your Change Success score, e.g. R5 x C6 x B7 = Change Success 280/1000. The maximum score is 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000. 
  1. Calculate the percentage of change potential being used as your business stands now, e.g. 280/1,000 = 28%. 
  1. Discuss how you can prepare more effectively for this change and score more highly, e.g. 10 x 8 x 8/1,000 = 640/1,000 = 64%. How would having a higher change readiness score make a difference? 
  1. Brainstorm ideas on how to improve on your scores. 
  1. Draw up a plan of action for each factor to ensure that you have the best chance of making change a success. 

Remember, without the capability to enact a change and the belief of your team in the reasons for the change, even the best vision for a transformation is likely to be unsuccessful. Make sure you’re evaluating readiness on multiple levels: your own readiness, your team’s readiness, and the organisation’s readiness. Checking back in and recalculating the formula will help you to keep on track with developing your readiness state over time – and hopefully drive a successful change.