IC2-4 Implementation of Change

Implementing change in any context is often not an easy task. Different theories help us to stipulate the best way to achieve this change. We talked about these frameworks and compared them to the color frames by De Caluwé and Vermaak:

  • structural
  • human resource
  • political
  • symbolic

The type of change I’m trying to implement in my institute lead me up to using the theory of De Caluwé and Vermaak and Kotter’s theory. An overview:

Color-print Thinking – De Caluwé & Vermaak:

  • YELLOW – negotiate a deal with people with power, looking for consensus, building coalitions, secretive, can deal with and avoid conflicts, execute power without anybody noticing, looking for feasible solutions, not necessarily the best one!
  • BLUE – rationality, prove everything, think first and act later, make everything as simple as possible, analyse – plan – implement, result oriented, rigid, inflexible
  • RED – motivation, seduction, people are human beings, they have feelings, treat them with respect, give attention, takes behavior in account, make change so attractive, that people want to change
  • GREEN – learning, competent, intrinsic motivation – people want to learn and change, curious – like to wonder about the world and how complicated everything is, flexible, learning is satisfactory
  • WHITE – energy, change is spontaneous, e.g. wikipedia – no boss, completely voluntary, can deal with uncertainties

I think I’m situated in the RED and GREEN ways of thinking. The red characteristics of passion, creativity, the idea of making change seductive so that people intrinsically want it, appeals to me. I recognize myself in it, but also in certain green properties: wanting to learn, being curious, wondering about the world and everything in it. I find it makes me somewhat of an idealist. Concerning the other colors, I can say that I have an admiration for white-print thinking because they can coop with chaos and always look for individual creativity. The power games of the yellow-print thinker are not quite my cup of tea. I’m absolutely not good at negotiating, the art of negotiating to achieve a goal. Lastly, the rationality of blue-print thinking is also appealing to me, gradually developing a plan, although the inflexible character and over-simplifying of things can be to narrow for me.

Kotter’s eight steps leading to change:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
  2. Creating the guiding coalition
  3. Developing a vision and strategy
  4. Communicate the change vision
  5. Empowering broad-based action
  6. Generating short-term wins
  7. Consolidating gains & producing more change
  8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture

Kotter’s theory is also appealing because the eight steps try to implement change from an objective or neutral point of view: change is necessary, not “wanted” by one or two people, but fundamentally needed. Something that I recognize within myself. I also get a sense of cooperation throughout Kotter’s steps: starting with a coalition and the development of a vision that leads up to action and eventually new insights and approaches.

The following image shows a combination of De Caluwé’s and Vermaak’s framework and Kotter’s eight steps theory. I like the integration of both theories in this model because it suggests that while using Kotter’s theory you need to implement different characteristics set by De Caluwé’s and Vermaak. It also shows that the color-print theory is something more than a change theory. It is about people, who they are and how the can complement each other in an organization. All colors are needed to achieve the final goal.


Lastly we discussed Goleman’s leadership styles:

  • Coercive
  • Authoritative
  • Affiliative
  • Democratic
  • Pacesetting
  • Coaching

2 thoughts on “IC2-4 Implementation of Change

  1. Hi Lars,
    I quite like your approach of implementing change through a combination of Kotter and Color-print thinking model. The image which describes your approach above is not very clear. Have you got a readable version of this image. I am an MBA student and was curious to understand your approach in detail.


    • Hi Sanket
      I updated the link behind the image. You now can see it in full resolution if you click on it.
      Good luck with your MBA!

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