CHANGE READINESS | CHANGE FITNESS – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Change readiness is a broader and more encompassing concept than change fitness. It combines 3 key components – the psychological readiness of people to succeed at the demands of the change process (their change fitness); the readiness of people to engage in the proposed change (buy-into the change); and the readiness of the change management team (or change/project manager) to lead the change process in a scientifically valid way. If any of these key components is weak, the organisation is not as ready for change as it needs to be. A change readiness audit provides a snapshot of these 3 areas, showing you where weaknesses exist and providing recommendations for overcoming them.
Change fitness is the first of these 3 key components. People have varying levels of change fitness, and they bring this fitness into the organisation. It becomes a kind of capital – or, if the change fitness is weak, a kind of risk factor. People with low change fitness don’t have the psychological capacity to handle change well and so they are more likely to be resistant and to disengage. This is much the same in the area of physical fitness. If you’re physically unfit, you will probably balk at the idea of a strenuous hike or a climb up a steep hill. But it is important to understand that low change fitness is something that can be changed, with the right intervention. People can learn to develop more change fitness and, as they do, they develop their capacity to withstand the challenges of the change process. In short, they develop the capacity to become more successful with change and less dependent on others.