The Insights Group surveyed several top companies and found that making organisational change was one of the top ten problems facing businesses today. So how does the Insights Discovery four-colour model help a business facing restructuring?

Insights Discovery® uses a four colour model, comprised of Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Earth Green and Sunshine Yellow energies, to describe people’s strengths, styles and team contributions. The unique combination of these helps to determine why we each think and behave the way we do.

Change. It’s not everybody’s favourite word or idea. For those of us who lead with Earth Green energy, in particular, it can be one of the things we fear the most. But change is inevitable and necessary. A famous quote commonly (yet disputably) attributed to Charles Darwin sums this up: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Regardless of the source, this rings true in both the business world and other part of our lives.

Why is change so difficult? Because it is often a step into the unknown. All change requires letting go of something we know, a process or situation that may be familiar and comforting, and embracing something new. For some of us this may be exciting, but for many it will feel like a gamble that may result in being worse off than where we started. Yet, businesses that cannot change risk being left behind. Technology alone is constantly evolving. You cannot compete in an electronic market if you are still conducting business with pen and paper.

All change requires letting go of something we know, a process or situation that may be familiar and comforting, and embracing something new.

The Fiery Red energy within you might prefer to rip the plaster off – you may fear losing control and forcefully push for any necessary changes to be implemented as quickly as possible. However, research has shown that lasting change is more often successfully implemented through the use of small steps.

Kurt Lewin’s model highlights the need for an ‘unfreezing’ stage prior to change – the period in which the need for change is identified and explained. It is important that the rationale behind the change is communicated to everyone; if people understand the need for change, they are less likely to resist it. This might involve analysing financial reports or customer feedback, and pinpointing potential improvements and the impact these could have. This approach will appeal most to your Cool Blue energy side: by dialling up this energy, you can weigh up the benefits of change against the consequences of maintaining the status quo.

The historian and author, James MacGregor Burns, proposed that the most effective leaders motivate those they lead to want to change by inspiring them. This may be where you need to draw on your Sunshine Yellow energy to be optimistic and enthusiastic, helping to create a compelling vision that inspires employees to invest in the second stage of Lewin’s model – ‘implementing the change’

Lewin’s final stage in his model of change is called ‘refreezing’ – ensuring that new practices become ‘the norm’. As I mentioned earlier, change may be hardest for those that lead with Earth Green energy. Faced with situations that they fear, such as disorder and risk, their natural desire to be of service may war with anxiety and stubbornness. By refreezing, a return to relative stability is created, which is essential after a period of turmoil to cement the change and reassure those for whom this process is particularly challenging.

Are you making organisational changes? Drop us an email. We’d love to explore how Insights Discovery® could help you.

Performance – Workplace Development is a Licensed Distributor for Insights Discovery®. We develop high performing teams. Need to know more? Check out our Insights Discovery® page for ways in which we could help you.