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A Change Recognition Scale: Driving awareness and understanding of change

When you talk about change, especially big changes in society and technology, people are not all in the same place in their awareness and understanding. This shapes their recognition and acceptance of new ideas and organizational strategies. If your goal is to promote new ideas, products, or processes, or marshall organizational response to change, you need to help people along the scale.

The graphic below presents the change recognition scale and suggests how you can move people along it.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on this. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Claire Nelson March 30, 2017, 10:36 pm

    Hi John.. I like the idea of a change recognition scale.. 

    I think it could be modified to use as a self assessment tool in a group exercise for strategic planning at the beginning of an exercise and then it could be readministered at the end of the planning process..

    Could use the debrief of the results as a pairs exercise or group exercise..to enliven a workshop especially if people do not want to be in the room. 

    By starting with a "irrelevant" story and then moving to one with more "relevance" to the 

    sceanrio you are trying to awaken people to.



  • John Mahaffie March 31, 2017, 5:35 am


    Thanks for the great thought. I will look for a chance to fit this to a group process like that.

    The other thing I’ve already contemplated is rather obvious; show a topic’s history along the scale. Something ridiculous that became conceivable, then arrived, etc.


I'd love to hear your thoughts