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Is your Team Ready for Change?

Change is all around us and moving at a faster pace then ever before.  How ready are you to continue to delve into an upcoming change?  What about your team? 

I recently received some training in Solution Based Therapy and was introduced to the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale or URIKA.  This Assessment measures where people are at when contemplating making a change in their life.  This readiness for change is then scored and gives a ranking of where an individual might be on the 4-point change readiness continuum of precontemplation, contemplation, action or maintenance.  

Precontemplation is marked by minimal awareness, low motivation, and weak intention to change. Contemplation is characterized by acknowledging the presence of a problem and thinking about the steps and actions for change. Action is the stage in which actual change occurs and is followed by Maintenance, which is characterized by sustaining the changes and integrating them into our lives. 

How could this be utilized in our teams?  Possibly to address behaviours and the individual’s readiness to address them.  Or to shine a light on team dynamics and willingness to change.  I wanted to share here some of the questions used in the assessment that may be applicable in these circumstances: 

As far as I’m (we’re) concerned, I (we) don’t have any problems that need changing.  

I (we) am doing something about the problems that have been bothering me (us). 

I’m (we’re) not the problem, it doesn’t make much sense for me (us) to be here. 

It worries me (us) that I (we) might slip back on a problem I (we) have already changed, so I (we) need some support. 

I’m (we’re) really working hard to change 

I (we) wish I (we) had more ideas on how to solve the problem. 

I (we) would rather cope with my (our) faults than try to change them. 

The 5 point Likert scales responses vary from strongly disagree to strongly agree.  The scoring form transfers the answers from the questionnaire into the different areas of precontemplation, contemplation, action and maintenance and provides a mean score for each area.  This can provide a good summary of where the individual or group falls on the 4-point continuum and what else might need to be addressed before change can be successful. 

Some benefits of assessing the readiness to change: 

  • Helps prepare for complex change or multiple changes 
  • Sets a baseline to monitor progress in change readiness 
  • Engages others and fosters a change-friendly environment 
  • Can pinpoint risk or areas of risk 
  • Identifies barriers to change 

Change is fundamental in our workplaces and managing this effectively in ourselves and our teams is the key to achieving a psychological safe and healthy environment for everyone to be successful. 

Interested in applying this organizationally?  Check out this resource – Organizational Change Readiness Assessment through Canada Health Infoway 

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