Late status quo
Late status quo is where things currently are and how they are done – it’s your starting point before you introduce any changes.
Performance should be reasonably consistent, and your team should be pretty comfortable where they are. They know what to expect, and have plenty of experience doing the exact same thing before, so significant challenges should be minimal.
At this stage there may not be a set change in mind, and so it’s important to encourage team members to seek out information and ways to improve by themselves.
Resistance is encountered when a new element (or change) is introduced. This could be encountered at any level (from CEOs to front-line employees) and is usually accompanied by denial or dismissal.
You can usually identify the start of resistance by a team or employee’s output beginning to take a nosedive. To limit this where possible, you need to help everyone to overcome that resistance by reaffirming the need to change and getting them to commit to it.
Unfortunately, other than the fact that it will happen after a change is introduced, very little about this step is set in stone. Instead, your task is to measure the effect this has on your performance and plan your response while trying to limit the negative affect on your team’s output as much as possible.
Chaos is where the emotional impact of your changes needs addressing, as whether you made large or small changes there will be a negative reaction which affects your team’s productivity. Listen to feedback, answer questions, and consider implementing a mentor (or general support) system.
Above all else, measure performance during this period to continue the change curve, and know that this stage will probably be the lowest point you reach. As long as your supporting change management model is working, it’s all up from here.
Integration is a very mixed bag. This is both where productivity begins to sharply improve and enthusiasm takes hold, but all involved will still need support with any problems they encounter to make sure that they don’t lose any steam prematurely.
As with other stages, make sure that you track everyone’s performance and continue to plot your curve.
New status quo
Finally, the new status quo settles in once the change becomes the norm, and will (hopefully) result in a higher level of performance than during the late status quo.
This is where you can really analyze the effect of your change and whether the process was worthwhile. By checking the overall effect of the change on your performance you can provide solid proof that the operation succeeded or failed, and begin to pick apart why that result happened.
In turn, what you learn from the success or failure can be used to influence further changes and predict what will be more effective in boosting performance.