Does your organization have enough change competence?
The Change Competence Model®


There are five universal factors that make or break any change process. Together they are called:

Change Competence.

Change Competence Model (v2)


The Rationale is all about the reason – or the why – of the change, it’s the big picture of the initiative. It must not only be logical in a strategic/technical sense (a cognitive level), it must also resonate on an emotional level for employees to embrace and fully support the change.


The Effect is the translated version of the Rationale for the ‘floor’. It’s about the (anticipated) concrete effects of the change initiative for the individual or groups of individuals in terms of results, costs and benefits, feelings, and perceptions. Here the question ‘what’s in it for me?’ must be answered for each individual or group of individuals.


The Focus literally gives the necessary focus to the change. It defines and bounds employees’ new behavior by adjusting old structures, systems, and priorities to realign them with the (new) mission of the organization. Then, behavior can further be aligned through concrete job descriptions and the use of, for example, exemplary behavior. Focus lets employees concentrate on what matters most.


The Energy is the ability to change, and is formed by employees’ readiness and preparedness to change, as well as the leadership and the availability of resources to execute the change. You can push and pull all you want, but if an organization is without Energy, it’s disabled and won’t go anywhere.


Connection is ‘the glue that keeps it together.’ It is the mechanism by which alignment between the other four factors is ensured. For example, creating a Focus without connecting and aligning it to the available Energy, will surely result in behavioral frameworks that are either too loose or too restrictive to direct the energy effectively and purposefully.

Change Competence Method

A thorough diagnosis can make the difference between changing successfully and failing miserably. Talking, questioning, thinking, and analyzing: taking the time to really understand what’s going on, instead of chasing after management fads. The Change Competence Assessment helps you to identify the change approach that is the most appropriate and promising.

TEN HAVE Change Management has developed a unique method to assess the change competence of any organization. It consists of different research methods that combined can reveal the necessary insights to make a in-depth diagnosis.

A Change Competence Assessment helps organizations to make a thorough diagnosis and translate that diagnosis into an appropriate design of the change process. A process that is customized to the capabilities of the organization.

The change competence of an organization can be assessed both prior to a change – for example, to develop a change process that is aligned with the organizational capabilities – and during the implementation of a change – to correct a change process that is not working.



Change Competence Assessment

The Change Competence Assessment consists of different research methods, among which the Change Competence Questionnaire. It can measure the degree to which an organization and its employees are ready for (the) change.

The online questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete, and gives an outline of the organizational change competence.

Cross-sections can be analyzed in order to get a deeper understanding of the change competence of, for example, different geographic locations, departments and/or functional groups.



 (click on the picture for an extended analysis)

Change Competence Canvas

The Change Competence Questionnaire is just one part of a complete Change Competence Assessment. The change competence of an organization can also or further be assessed using the Change Competence Canvas.

The canvas, on which the Change Competence Model is depicted, acts as a map on which up to 100 participants can jointly assess the change competence of their organization. It’s an interactive way to analyze and diagnose your organization.

With the use of the canvas, participants can provide the diagnostic chalk lines for current and future changes – where do we, in a change management sense, flourish, and what parts need our attention in order to achieve the change goals?

It also provides the expert knowledge needed to develop a sound change vision, as well as an estimate of the change capacity needed to carry out that vision.

You can also order your own Change Competence Canvas. Depending on the size of the group you will be working with, the canvas can be ordered in the following sizes:

  • 3ft x 3ft (1 participant)
  • 8ft x 8ft (1 – 10 participants)
  • 16ft x 16ft (10 – 25 participants)
  • 32ft x 32ft (25 – 100 participants)

Order the canvas

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Change Competence

Implementing Effective Change

Managers frequently struggle with formulating a good strategy and direction for their organizations. It is often difficult to choose and prioritize, as the case in Chapter 7 shows. Everything needs to be done and everything seems important. It also often seems hard to translate a chosen strategy or direction into a vision for change, into a story that rings true, and that motivates. A good strategy and change vision is a start. A good start is half the job: no less, but also no more. This must be followed by accomplishments, by results.

This is often the moment when it becomes clear that managers have problems in successfully converting their plans to results. The story from Chapter 7 about the chairman and Anne attests to this. Such problems are often rooted in the inability to flesh out the necessary change process; the capacity for change is lacking or inadequate. An effective change process stands or falls by an organization’s change competence.

Table of contents

  1. Change Competence: The detailed description of the Change Competence Theory.
  2. Failure and Success Factors: Insights into the phenomena related to the factors Rationale, Effect, Focus, Energy, and Connection.
  3. Dynamic: The dynamics of a change process is illustrated from the perspective of a newly appointed leader and the classic ‘100 days.’
  4. Dysfunctions: The organizational dysfunctions that stand in the way of successful change.
  5. Leadership: 12 ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ leadership roles during change.
  6. Change Approaches: The ways by which a change process can be approached.
  7. The Change Case – Part I: The insights of the previous chapters are incorporated into a story of a fictitious organization that suffers from a hampering change competence.
  8. The Change Case – Part II: The second part of the story in which the change process, and outlook are told, and reflected upon.
Based on thorough scientific research, and decades of experience with complex change processes, these 8 chapters describe the unified change theory: Change Competence. It provides concrete guidelines to assist in implementing complex changes. It increases the awareness of (future) leaders, and managers, and shows them that, for example, resistance, and change fatigue are often the result of a misalignment of the five universal factors with each other. Change Competence: Implementing Effective Change helps to eliminate the waste, and disorientation, and offers a fruitful and effective new perspective on change.

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