Trenchant Remedying: Directional Disturbing of Organizational Change Effort

Jan Green and Ben Binsardi, Glyndŵr University

Abstract

Organisational change theory has a historic bias towards personal resistance and individuals adopting a passive or negative perspective to change initiatives. Perpetuating this view change literature presents management approaches to assist in overcoming resistance, which have shown negligible evolution beyond the view that individual involvement and participation, together with effective communication, provide assistance. This paper challenges this assumption by providing inspiration via a contrary conceptual approach to organisational change; proposing an antithesis to traditional change management solutions and contributes to the role of communication within the process of change management. Grounded theory is the methodology used, which enables the data to provide the concepts and connections required in the construction of the theory. This requires a no preconceptions dictum to enable the generation of theory, not verification of a previous theory or hypothesis. Trenchant remedying is the grounded theory generated from data and conceptualises the concern resolving behaviours undertaken during the change receptivity process. During analysis it became evident that vigour and effort were expended and a solution sought as a remedy, hence the naming of the core category.
Keywords: change receptivity, change initiation, alertness, disruption, effort

Introduction

In order to illustrate the on-going request for inspiration regarding change, it should not be unexpected when a practitioner comments about the complexity of issues that arise during the process. Actions taken in attempting to reach solutions that can subsequently be implemented are sought. It is timely that change, as an organisational issue, is still subject to extensive debate and question.

The decision to undertake organisational change is usually arrived at in order to make a difference in an area of the business, typically because established measures demonstrate a variance on past performance against predictions. The most frequent change catalysts focus on performance measures such as profit margins, sales values, return on investment, increased overheads, wastage, complaints and quality, amongst others.

Seeking inspiration to tackle the hidden assumptions of change is refreshing; this paper strives to conceptualise the concern resolving behaviours that are practised and communicated when a change situation is required. This is done in the absence of reference to previously developed change theories to comply with the grounded theory methodology, an inductive approach with no predicted outcome in the form of a hypothesis. Previous work is drawn on to strengthen the empirical findings through the provision of a conceptual framework, however it and is delimited to include only literature with conceptual relatedness to the emerging concepts of the generated theory.

Structure

This paper is structured into sections, beginning with a brief commentary related to the methodological approach followed by the grounded theory of trenchant remedying. The next section draws conclusions and refers to conceptions drawn from the literature and then presenting directions for future research. The unit of analysis is the individual to identify behaviours of relevance to the area of concern.

The source of influence is a response to a “call for greater academic and management attention to volition as the vital source of individual action and, therefore, of corporate performance” (Bruch & Ghoshal 2004, p. 82). Change initiatives frequently originate as a result of performance changes so it is a logical step to establish whether volition supports the management of change receptivity in efforts to redress the identified change.

The objectives of the study are to identify effective change concern resolving behaviours practised by individuals in private-sector businesses. These are achieved by presenting a grounded theory of successful change receptivity practices and endorse, or possibly modify, the generated concepts within the theory. Literature drawn from bodies of knowledge including and beyond organisational change is used, to represent and enhance the emergent data patterns prior to commenting on areas for further research.

Methodology

Regional business networking events provided the sample source, as audiences, representing a wide range of business sectors, attended functions where the theme was performance improvement. The overwhelming outcome was that change of varying degrees was required to support this requirement. This ensured that an early element of “you’re socializing me” (Glaser, personal communication, 12 September, 2011) had already taken place with the respondents within the broad theoretical area of the study and identified the presence of a problem. Adopting this approach assists greatly in accessing a receptive theoretical sample for the study and utilised one of many benefits that resulted from attendance at a Grounded Theory Troubleshooting Seminar!

Four initial conversations lasting approximately one hour took place in order to provide a forum where the respondents relayed behaviours, related to change management issues that were being attended to in order to make a difference to organisational performance. Following each conversation the data was fractured and subject to initial coding in order to undertake constant comparison with subsequent data sets. Following these conversations a sense of behaviours to support change was evident and enabled subsequent shorter conversations, totalling 16 to be delimited before returning briefly to the original four and achieve theoretical saturation.

Recognising that grounded theory is a general methodology that can be used with any type of data and has the ability to intersect across alternative research methods through conceptualisation (Glaser, 2013) sets broad parameters for potential research. These parameters simply require a problem (Binsardi, and Green 2012) that are widened further when incorporating the perspective of those involved in seeking to solve a problem through the understanding of actions – whilst actively applying personal “mental boxing” (Green and Binsardi, 2014) to remain neutral. In order to generate a grounded theory empirical data is collected prior to the searching and reviewing of the literature with a view to supporting theory generation, rather than a verifying approach of previous works. This ensures the eventual grounded theory is not “someone else’s theory” (Kenealy, personal communication, 22 February, 2011). By adopting this outlook the outcome should be a wedge of feasible, representative theory that is in accord with what emerges from the data and eliminates the reliance on earlier commentaries (Glaser, 2012). To ensure this is the outcome tolerance and the management of ambiguity, requiring the suspension of preconceptions (Glaser, 2011a) becomes an integral part of the process.

Several definitions of grounded theory are provided in the literature. One is that grounded theory “is a direct, simple inductive method to generate conceptual theory from research data”. (Glaser, 2009, p. 5), that depends on the data collection, interspersed with analysis. At all stages “the illustration and example are from the data provided, for the purpose of establishing imagery” (Gatin, 2013, p. 10).

According to Evans (2013) the fundamental tenets of grounded theory are constant comparison, theoretical coding, sampling and sensitivity. Tan (2010) adds memo writing in order to formulate and revise the theory throughout the research process, which is, flexible and creative in order to achieve “the canonical status” (Hendriks & Sousa 2013) that grounded theory is acquiring.

Grounded theory requires entry to the field at an early stage (Goulding & Saren, 2010), in order to collect data about the phenomena to be modelled (Berry, Godfrey, Holt & Kasper, 2013), via a conversation using a source that is most likely to provide early insights (Goulding, 2009). This data set is then coded on a line-by-line basis in order to establish categories within the data (Glaser, 2012) and provide recognised anchors (Hendriks & Sousa, 2013) for the embryonic theory.

The first data set is then used as an interface for subsequent data sets to ensure relevance, clarifying the occurrence of incidents. This process provides a sense of direction (Holton, 2010), and then completeness as the cycle is repeated when further data is collected, coded and undergoes constant comparison, which is concurrent, not linear (Tan, 2010). Constant comparison requires a search for both similarities and differences to account for and explain the behaviours (Goulding & Saren, 2010). Pattern identification and establishing the dimensions of properties occurs during this stage. The use of gerunds is effective when used to code for actions as they “envision implicit actions and identify how they are linked” (Charmaz, 2013, p. 309).

Sampling is not predetermined with grounded theory, it should be sufficiently diverse to establish satisfactory variation (Binsardi & McLean, 2008), and ensure data adequacy at the early stages of the study. Location, characteristics of the participants and sample numbers is an emergent and evolving process.

Initial findings direct the researcher to a range of people, places and contexts in order to saturate the data (Goulding & Saren, 2010) and requires staying open to what can emerge (Glaser, 2013). Flexibility during data gathering generates an in-depth study of unique events (Seldén, 2005).

In order to check whether new dimensions are inclusive (O’Reilly, Paper & Marx, 2012) theoretical coding is applied to the data which groups similar examples and is a vital component in the identification of theoretical sub-categories. As this process progresses conceptual illustrative incidents are shaped through the act of writing memos to capture ideas.
Memos are discussed by Stern (2007) as; the mortar of theory that is being generated. They provide “written records of analysis” (Corbin & Strauss, 2008, p. 117) and should be written to support the development of the theory. A memo provides a comparison between early data and subsequent data to build links between concepts (Wasserman, Clair & Wilson, 2009). They are a required aspect of grounded theory to capture and illustrate the emerging views and perceptions of the analyst. The documents provide a site for creativity (Green, 2012) and are conceptualised as “instantising” (Green & Bensardi, 2014). Memos provide a location from which the embryonic theory is generated, in a systematic manner during memo sorting.
As grounded theory is conceptual, analysis is raised from a descriptive level. In addition, there is an abstraction of time, place and people. Concepts are labelled through an emergent social pattern which is grounded in the research data (Glaser, 2002), and supported by a range of interchangeable indices, which reveal patterns that were originally concealed.
Coding is the activity that leads, ultimately, to an explanation of ways in which a core category resolves the main concern. Glaser (2012) estimates this does not take more than four to six sub-concepts. In order to actively support theoretical development, based on emerging concepts, the adoption of theoretical sampling techniques requires decisions on analytic grounds about where to sample from next (Urquhart, 2013). This activity provides assistance in the provision of completeness, or saturation and fills any spaces that are evident as the theory develops.

When undertaking a classic grounded theory study, the emergence of a core category is an indisputable requirement (Holton, 2010). Data patterns encroach, become recognisable and provide the essence of the study. From the outset there is no preconceived outline, rather the process is one of coming out during the conceptual sorting of memos that form a relationship structure within the theory based on previously identified codes.

The choice of a core category indicates the stopping point in the data collection (Glaser, 2011b) and should additional data be collected no new categories would emerge; this is the point of saturation. A dimension has been identified that is central and accounts for most of the variation in resolving the problem (Glaser, 1998); there is a clear dominating factor of the study. When using classic grounded theory, the method used in this study; “what counts is only what the data related” (Christiansen, 2007, p. 41).

Trenchant Remedying

Whilst it is easy to be critical, the three ubiquitous tools of SWOT, PESTLE and force field analysis are still found wanting in effecting change management solutions. SWOT is referred to as a pervasive, proven, developmental results oriented strategic planning tool (Helms & Nixon, 2010). PESTLE is a taxonomy that classifies each chance by its point of origin that subsequently requires validation from a variety of sources and multiple occurrences (Schultz, 2006). Force field analysis (Lewin, 1951) is a time-honoured plan for problem solving and actions through the depiction of helpers and hindrances to the desired change, which captures key implementation issues (Schwering, 2003). As a foundation of change these tools are usually depicted as a series of bullet points; they are flat and “tend to exist as descriptive packages of elements that should be considered when undertaking a change program whilst not being particularly useful in the act of implementing it” (MacBryde, Paton, Grant & Bayliss, 2012, p. 464). A case is made by Leclercq-Vandelannoitte, (2013) goes beyond a view of organisation change as a linear, planned process requiring the application of diverse elements. To solve this shortfall the concept of directional disturbance creating increasing organisational havoc is proposed in the grounded theory of trenchant remedying and “challenges the traditional deficit perspective in change management” (Grandy & Holton, 2010, p.180).

Status Quo

Effective change, states the data: is about being receptive and requires a more complex approach when the nuance of trends have been relatively stable prior to illustrating new patterns and outcomes. A constant reference point is behaving in a different manner and ensuring necessary change actions are timely for the organization by raising awareness to generate a state of change readiness. The individual change practitioner recognises the following concepts: insightful analysing, pervasive inspiring, mindful resolution, risk exposure, deliberate intention, accomplished solving, in addition they “respond to people who give good feedback”. These concepts will not be readily located in change management textbooks but provide a transfer from status quo to one of heightened awareness.

In coding the empirical data collected in this study, it is evident that the participants are very aware of the sector environment trends, within which they operate, there is an immediate alertness to movement in business activity. This is apparent from initial codes which include receptivity and recognising, a data extract is: “that message came through like a siren”. These actions are not passive and require changed behaviour such as setting up discussions to demonstrate specific alterations to organisational performance. Conversely, they are active and frequent in the way that personal antennae work to gain an appreciation of what influencers are shaping the operating environment and attempting to establish the best way to respond, this entails discussing ideas. The amount of activity at this stage is frequently underestimated as shading in the gaps occurs. This behaviour required the presentation of data outside the routine system timetable, planned requirements to project performance trends as early efforts to draw attention to where status quo behaviour would lead, and requires a wider pool of people to become aware of the need for change. This is more apparent when linking with other codes emerging from the data, as receptivity and recognising contribute to insightful analysing, illustrated by: “go and ask what other views there are”, which is done to create a sufficient level of wider focus on the performance variance and is carried out in a manner which uses effective analysis in order to identify potential risks and reduce organisational composure. This process terminates with the conclusion that there is an absence of conceptual levelling, and initiates syndrome alerting at which stage the concept of gradienting commences.

Syndrome Alerting

Concern-resolving behaviours progress from asking to encompass further contacting of key individuals to ensure the level of alertness becomes a priority. At this stage the behaviours were of a reinforcing nature and involved arranging protracted discussions; listening to alternative views about future performance scenarios and determinedly keeping the issue on all internal agenda through repeated communication. Additional support, with data, to debate the potential change indications and ensure the momentum from initial alerting is not lost is crucial. It is at this stage where the level of effort becomes more obvious through having quiet determination and realising the sector is changing. The behaviours at this stage are identified as being repetitive and using different approaches from amending fonts and colours in correspondence, that did not comply with corporate practice, showing data to backroom staff and repeatedly asking for appointments to discuss future actions – the outcome of this initial activity is the identification of a difference or syndrome that requires a label to assist in the process of recognition.

Without a label the effectiveness of change communication is likely to be diluted. Examples from the data include terms to protect confidentiality such as Project Rainbow, the Red Bus or more easily identified terms such as Budget Revision, Takeover Target and so on. The use of coded names is a behavioural tactic to elevate the change issue; it is used as a profile-raising strategy to encourage wider questioning as some asked what was being referred to and introducing checking behaviours in others.

At this stage it is evident that a change syndrome is present. The alerting feedback has sufficient strength and potential momentum to require further action. The symptoms that have resonance from an individual perspective and are easily multiplied up to an organisational level, when conceptualized, could include the similes:

• the always late syndrome
• the “no milk in the fridge” syndrome
• the keeping weight off syndrome
• the can’t find anything syndrome

It is noted by Maister (2008) that the fat smoker syndrome encompasses the knowledge that the strategy for healthy living is to stop smoking, eat less and exercise regularly. Obvious solutions are not, per se, easier to achieve than far-fetched ones. This is an initial insight into the use of a paradoxical approach to change.
The points listed above are all examples of systems failure, one of the most common sources of change initiatives; however they are subsequently packaged and communicated within the change management process to provide emphasis.

Harbingering

From this stage change is ready to be the subject of organisational harbingering. This activity commences with acts of signalling to others through communication of focused messages, undertaking forecasting, and anticipating what lies ahead for the organisation. Behaviours move beyond routine and gaining attention to ensuring priority is given to the imminent change and the areas of predicting are widened out. There is a requirement for focused debate in order to create a clear strategy including all functions within the organisation and a senior level adding rank, weight and credence to the performance message. Generating a timescale is central to the change effort and requires additional activity that is visible throughout the organisation. The data states it is like repeatedly attracting the attention of others to prevent slippage and the requirements of the day job taking over. The message needs to interrupt and be sufficiently stark to generate a sense of foreboding. In order to prioritise the imminent change there is a requirement to evaluate the extent and significance of which is manifest in the areas of predicting that should be debated to ensure there is sufficient ranking and immediacy related to the harbingering process.

There may be anxieties and apprehension, as this work becomes the forerunner of actual change and awareness of an increasingly steep gradient ahead. It is a priority to implement, and progress, planning and determining during harbingering, a data fragment is: “long, hard thinking, change doesn’t usually happen quickly”. Any premonition from the early change stage is delved into, broken down or fragmented and evaluated as alterations in outcomes become clearer and more definitive. A course of action is then presented through the code of advocating in order to garner support for the impending change. Highlighting the potential benefits arising from the change, with a belief in the improved post-change environment are all identified elements to support the change initiative and ensure the required change has clarity and conviction. This state is achieved through demonstrating the future performance variance between inactivity and responding to the harbinger. Behaviours are isolationist and require confidence and persuasion.

Malaising

Managing change beyond harbingering is progressed in the property of malaise, the identified deficiency or syndrome is being considered and discussed in communications within the organisation which leads to feelings of discomfort, unease, disquiet and possible vulnerability: “it feels like an onslaught” all of which combine into the necessary level of agitations to initiate change. Additional effort or volition occurs in this stage to maintain routine operations and ensure the change issues receives sufficient attention when others may be suffering a sense of malaise which has the effect of reducing energy levels within the organization. The behaviours included checks and questions as a method of reinforcing and early quests to identify a remedy.

As the malaise takes hold within an organisation, the data indicates a shift in the type of language being used in connection with the identified change as a solution which is depicted by the code perturbing. At this stage the gradient of change effort is acute; the previous persistent behaviours ensure the change is pressing in nature. A data extract is: “there is palpable unease and anxiety”. The responses include a sense of alarm, feelings of intrusion and threats, which are viewed as being disruptive. It is clear that the change, whilst acknowledged as a necessity, is an additional burden. In some instances the responses are severe, with distressing and ominous connotations. In terms of concern resolving behaviours, the change initiator makes no attempt to dilute or neutralize the pressing gravity and troublesome nature of the change, conversely it is repetition to maintain the unsettled environment, which has ensured the change need is felt and acknowledged on an individual basis. At this juncture some behaviours shift more obvious to remedy, seeking where comparisons are researched and specialist opinions requested to develop a course of action to address the malaise.

Transpadaning

Finally, change of such difficulty that defies visualisation is coded as transpadaning; that which is situated beyond normal reach and is difficult to visualise. It is off the scale and has a gradient that is so steep it is precipitous, referred to as “not idle musings, they are well off the performance enhancing scale”. This type of change requires significant risk in order to implement. It may be preceded by a pause, in order to undertake learning activities linked to the extent of risk before proposing and agreeing a radical course of change action.

Organisational change is not a neat two by two model, or a circle divided into quarters; it is uphill, and uncertain, requiring prolonged and persistent effort, that is supported by drive and energy in order to implement in a successful manner. “It’s about doing, not stopping; you know I was obsessed with the change.” The behaviours exhibited are identified as emphatic, and preventative, to stop any slippage back to the status quo levels. In addition, there are occurrences of bringing discussions back to the core change issue to limit distractions and procrastination by using a directive style. This aspect of change is the trenchant element of the grounded theory that takes an organisation “through willpower and keeping going, with the body and the mind”, is the data message, into new and different terrain, circumstances and procedures.

A steep gradient needs to be climbed, “it is an internal feeling”, towards a horizon in the far distance that may appear to keep moving further away. It is insightful analysing, related to the specific change issue, that assesses the effort that will be required. At the outset of the project the level of effort may not be apparent, hence discovering through precipitous transpadaning is where the changed positioning for the organization lies. The levels of change effort are depicted in figure 1. In order to complete the change, trenchancy is the theoretical complementary concept.

Figure 1: Directional propelling stages and gradients of trenchancy.

Trenchant

Trenchant is not a widely used word. For the purposes of this grounded theory trenchant encompasses “vigorous or incisive in expression or style” (Trenchant, n.d.), traits required to support the prolonged effort that provide the foundation to successfully implement organisational change.

The data refers to change projects as a consuming effort on behalf of those involved, that requires prolonged resolution and striving in order to maintain the change impetus and is supported by the determination to succeed. Throughout this process a source of personal energy is an essential element to sustain the momentum and the activity. Respondents state recognition of their personal energy patterns throughout the day; peaks are used for the most difficult tasks.

Initial enthusiasm for the change was saturated within the data in order to generate what is conceptualised as a directional propeller. This conceptual behaviour creates the necessary turbulence that moves the organisation, and those within it, from a state of malaise to one of being perturbed; this requires “positive vibrancy and a mixing together of circumstances to create instability”. To achieve this feat, the data states the considerable discipline that must be drawn on to shoulder the burden of a change undertaking that may persist for considerable periods of time. The data refers to periods varying from three months to five years, and also to repetition “it took pushing and an incredible work ethic” both within and outside those periods.

Working with effort requires willpower, the data stresses that the contribution of willpower and effort determines the level, and extent, of change completion leading to a period of isolation that is used to recover and repeat the effort. References to prolonged endeavours, acting in a wilful manner and refusing to stop also appear in the data with sufficient frequency to achieve saturation. This is through reinforcing the comments related to being disruptive and the need for repetition and emphasis in delivering the change message. One respondent refers to a “personal level” in relation to succeeding and ensuring achievement, followed rapidly by change maintenance to stem slippage tendencies.

Where additional effort is required, the approach is: “what comes after overdrive? More drive”. A trenchant state arises where a course of action is resolute and unwavering. At this stage persistence may become obsessive, the energy is relentless, and focus is essential, resulting in an incurable need to produce results.

It is important to emphasise this aspect of organisational change, and the consuming doggedness, required to support the effort that emanates from being trenchant. Whilst these catalysts reside in the individual, the management of change requires infusion generated from an energetic approach; to provide a source of momentum and drive that transfers and spreads to all areas involved in the change initiative. This is hard work – one respondent suggests this should appear in capital letters! Hard work, supported by personal drive, is the outcome of individual effort that is multiplied through repeated and, where required, prolonged infusion of the change message throughout the organization.

The vigorous aspect of trenchancy requires energy to support the effort expended. Energy enhances the ability to retain focus and concentration and supports the completion of tasks. This property is highly valued by the respondents, and they make effective use of recovery periods to carry out below base line tasks – in addition to paying attention to their own hydration, nutrition and rest/sleep patterns during the remedy seeking section of effective change management.

Representing the presence of trenchancy in a conceptual diagrammatic form uses the previously referred to notion of the directional propeller. This causes a form of disturbance depending on size and speed of rotation. The disturbance is the extent of the change and the rate of propulsion required. This correlates with the gradient of change, identified earlier in the steepness of slopes that are evident during the change process. A steeper gradient requires a stronger directional disturbance to maintain the momentum and level of disturbance that drives and supports the identified extent of change.

Discussion

Organisational change, the management of change and implementation of change are not new issues, they have been extensively researched and written about. Regardless of all this research, the academic community still seeks inspiration due to the high proportion of reported change management failures.

This paper presents a broad range of concern resolving behaviour in the empirical data and therefore achieves objective one. Objective two is met through the presentation of the conceptual grounded theory model of change – trenchant remedying which is readily modifiable (Glaser, 2003) to a wide range of change situations. This section provides endorsement; objective three. The core category is evident in the data as saturation was reached in the notion of remedying through two main concern-resolving behaviours that commence with awareness of a difference; that in many instances is very slight. It is similar to noticing the nuances of the seasons, the first green buds in spring, the first golden leaf in the autumn as the rhythmic, routine and settled manner (Kippenberger, 1998) of organisational life becomes disordered.

In the model, this stage is a conceptual draught that may be no more than a rustling of papers by an open window; however it is a prelude to the winds of change. When such subtle cues are missed the change commences in a catch up stage. Alternatively, where the organisational radar captures such nuances, there is an advantage, which the literature refers to as change readiness, “a collection of thoughts and intentions towards a specific change effort” (Bernerth, 2004, p. 39) in addition to a measure of receptivity to change (Frahm & Brown, 2007). An approach to assist at this stage is through the use of opinion leaders (Hammond, Gresch & Vitale, 2011) to describe and share the problem.

Progressing from change awareness the model proposes thorough communication, which takes various forms on several occasions to those who are, or will subsequently become, involved in the change. This is a further area of change that is frequently ineffective (Nelissen & van Selm, 2008). In the absence of clear and extensive communication, supported by illustration to provide focus and repeated reinforcement sufficient change impetus may not be generated. The existing literature fails to sufficiently emphasise the type of language that supports harbingering, and there is a potential mismatch between the identified change and how it is portrayed. This is a clear induction from the theory that requires trenchant behaviour to remedy as the move from status quo commences and gathers momentum, and the breeze generated through initial efforts develops sufficient disturbance to become a persistent draught requiring attention.

The change model of trenchant remedying uses the conceptual process of harbingering to announce, and act in the capacity of forerunner. The knowledge broker framework which involves participation and sharing in the decision making process (Pardo-del Val, Fuentes & Roig-Dobón, 2012) is applicable as a reinforcement mechanism. The use and application of a change readiness model to emphasise the identified discrepancy which needs to be addressed (Armenakis & Harrois, 2003), with organisational support and involvement from leaders adds authority and momentum to the change.

Post harbingering, when carried out in an emphatic manner, should result in organizational unease. This unease is a core symptom of malaise, to generate action in order to establish the precise identification of what is amiss and therefore requires correction or change.

Proposals to implement change create a different momentum, as the change force develops into a noticeably strengthening breeze that compliments the concept of malaise and has the potential to become disruptive and prevent a return to earlier and more settled circumstances. Undertaking pilot schemes to develop learning practices as change enablers (Van Oosten, 2006), to narrow the variances between ideal and reality are proposed as supportive techniques to improve and revitalise established practices.

Following an emphatic message, to generate momentum, that requires a personal energizer to attract commitment, have their ideas considered and get more from those around them (Cross, Baker & Parker 2003) to maintain the malaise should be increasingly evident as the organisational disturbance expands. This is an example of how imagery (Gatin, 2013) is applied to grounded theory. The change gathers speed and force (Bruch & Ghoshal, 2003) disturbing the atmosphere beyond a pleasant breeze to an agitating gale and may unearth difficulties (Dreher, 2002). The model identifies this stage as perturbing and it is a situation where remaining unaltered is difficult to achieve. This is the crucial stage requiring personal drive and trenchant behaviours to push and progress the change through to completion when “the wind of change, blows straight into the face of time, like a stormwind” (Scorpions VEVO, 2009). To counter the strengthening wind requires drawing on mental equipment (Lawrence & Hohria, 2001), to sustain energy, which is ambiguous as a concept, it is an enigma (Todaro-Franceschi, 2008). It is a force like the wind, powerful and individual (Bruch & Ghosal, 2003).

Green (2012) suggests trenchant mannerisms such as personal resolve and directional choices provide the final elements in remedy seeking so that “a person’s knowledge and emotions fuse into the resolute intention that defines willpower” (Bruch & Ghosal, 2004, p. 53).

Throughout the precipitous climb of transpadening the internal presence of drive, or a demand on the mind for work (Freud, 1973), that provides a determination to succeed (Meldrum & Atkinson, 1998) are effective and supportive mechanisms in the final stages of successful change. Butcher and Atkinson (2001) emphasise the inclusion of enthusiasm and vigour in change communications to propel and maintain the change by adopting a proactive, driver-like approach.

In a competitive environment, the notion of winning is frequently overlooked, however, according to Dehler & Welsh (1994), winners are best able to harness energy sources, due to sufficient potent energy to shift mind-sets (McLagan, 2001). This is a frequently occurring obstacle to successful change, the “it might not happen” to “what shall we do, now that it has happened?” This situation may be so extreme that a combative stance (Felício, Rodrigues & Caldeirinha, 2012) requiring self-control, strength and single-mindedness (Muraven & Baumeister, 2000) support the extremity of the transpadaning process.
Failure to pay sufficient and timely attention to the early stages of change have the potential to result in the need to undertake a change of extremes, this is transpadaning. Transpadaning is a state that may be situated beyond the parameters of the organization and those working within; it is of the utmost severity as it is undertaken whilst enduring the barrage of a tempest. Tosey & Llewellyn (2002) make reference to mobilising activities to unblock the natural flow of energy to underpin change processes, particularly valuable in extremist circumstances. In the event of the change requiring prolonged trenchant mannerisms (Green, 2012) the possession of resolute intention (Bruch & Ghosal, 2003) are the pre-requisites, that harness energy (Dehler & Walsh, 1994) and utilise the application of quantum feeling through association with energetic self-talk (Shelton & Darling, 2001).

The state of transpadaning is only achieved by not having the limiting mind-set referred to by Smith (2003), through the dispensing of thinking boundaries to become liberated and supportive of change take-off.

Beyond this point in the model there is recognition of a precipitous situation where risk and the potential to fail have a higher prevalence within change management. This requires a powerful potency (McLagan, 2001), in order to generate a mind-set shift that is sufficiently robust with infinite horizons to operate within the metaphoric cyclone that has developed; such is the organisational impediment requiring attention to change.

Where, then is the inspiration in relation to change? It must be initially in the tone and style of the change message delivery, this should be with panache, in the style of an envoy, as the legal department would say: “for avoidance of all doubt”. The grandiose nature of quantum thinking (Shelton & Darling, 2001), as a change management framework, draws on elements identified in trenchant remedying. Examples include imagery, energy and recognition supported by mindfulness and mastery; this is the cornerstone, or whirling interruption of tranquillity for change that has sufficient momentum to prevent premature settlement. The change harbinger should, in addition to messaging, encourage creativity to be unleashed within an intrapreneurial setting, where creativity is actively encouraged to support and spread the change loading.
To conclude, in the age of rampant technology a change management app is overdue for those immersed in the essential organisational process to keep pace with rapid fluctuations in operating environmental demands, the raison d’étre of change. Where is it?

Directions for Further Research

Discovery, as one element of the appreciative inquiry is referred to in the theory – and whilst the entire concept does not appear in change management texts with any frequency – the use of this technique is suggested as an approach to be considered further in conjunction with trenchant management styles to establish the effectiveness of a dual approach. An update on quantum thinking and the valuable contribution of volition is also timely. Additional research into the use, and success, of these techniques is suggested to view change from alternative perspectives and further contribute to insight and understanding of this increasingly important phenomena and provide additional assistance for future practitioners.

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