The Red Tree Change Model

Change follows the same path for individuals as it does for entire organizations. When you know how change works, you can get ahead of the curve and make things happen much faster.

Change Is Introduced

Whether change is introduced by choice or by outside forces, it generally causes the same chain of events. When changes are made by leaders, the key to success is being prepared to handle the consequences as quickly as possible.

Zone of Disruption

When change happens, it causes a downturn in productivity in some way or another. Change almost always means more work as people try to deal with something new in addition to their normal responsibilities. The bigger the change, the more severe the disruption.

Point of Decision

Disruption continues until people decide to adapt to the change instead of fighting against it. This happens first in individuals, then collectively as an organization when enough people have made the decision. Sometimes people will continue to fight against the change indefinitely.

Zone of Adoption

Once people have decided to adapt to the change, a period of adoption begins and people begin making adjustments to accommodate for it. This leads back to the level of productivity that existed before the change was introduced. The change continues to cost until this breakeven point is met.

Zone of Innovation

Finally, when people take advantage of the change and begin doing something new, there is an opportunity for the entire organization to benefit. New ideas and new ways of doing things begin reaping new results. Without this period, the change will always cost more than it gained.

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