FAQs > Applegate Consulting Group > What is Applegate Consulting Group’s theory of change?

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Applegate Consulting Groups ascribes to a theory of change based on well-established behavioral science theory. ACG believes that five elements are critical to the ultimate success of any change effort. They include:

  • A clear vision for the future. Most change theory posits that the motivation needed to drive positive change stems from the creative tension that exists between the organization’s definition of its desired future – its vision – and the reality of its present condition. People are most likely to change if they understand what’s at stake for the organization and there is a clearly articulated vision for the future. People also need a clear understanding of their role in the change process and the specific goals they can support to realize the vision.
  • Committed and engaged leadership. People look to their leaders when making change and pay close attention to whether the leaders espoused core values and vision are congruent with their behavior and actions in the organization. If the leader is not committed to change or sends mixed messages, people will know it. And if the leader is perceived as not championing the change effort, others will resist the change. Leaders must be consistent, accessible and explicitly communicate the desired change. The CEO and all senior staff are the ultimate role models.
  • An explicit communication plan. People generally avoid change if they can. Commonly held attitudes toward change are often deeply held and unconscious. As a result, a change process can evoke resistance and can be a potentially challenging process in many, if not most, organizations. The aims and actions embodied in the change process must be effectively and continuously communicated to the entire organizational population. Change can only succeed in an environment of information available to all and where people understand the importance of the desired change.
  • Staff involvement and participation. When employees are asked to actively participate in a change process, the likelihood that the process will succeed and will produce lasting results is noticeably enhanced. Cross-organizational participation inspires buy-in, commitment, and ownership, all promote positive change and reinforce long-term effectiveness. Applegate Consulting Group employs participative processes that build support for change among those who are expected both to drive it within the organization and to embrace it within their professional lives.
  • Accountability. An organization that values and effectively manages a change process understands that change does not simply happen; nor are the behaviors that support change automatic. People will transition and must let go of old habits and patterns of behavior that no longer serve them in order to make room for new behaviors, habits and perspectives the change process requires. Thus, the entire organization must be held accountable for their behavior vis-à-vis their support for, and their efforts to implement, the overall change process in word, action and deed.