Stage 0.13   Six Questions & CARE Summary

CARE Questions the Change Agent Should Always Address

  1. What is the primary voiced concern of the system with which I am working?
  2. Why do I CARE? Is this enough to keep me going through this effort?
  3. Is the level of concern among key system members high enough to keep them motivated through the change effort?
  4. Is there a real desire for change? If not, or if it is not sufficient, do I have the capacity and willingness to help instill it?
  5. Does the system require unfreezing before any other kind of change effort can proceed?
  6. Are there other competing or countervailing concerns present anywhere within this system which will interfere with a collective change effort? If so, can we develop a strategy to contend with these?

Summary of Stage 0

There is a beginning to every "change," starting with a growing sense that something is wrong with the status quo.  

There is always an initiator, someone or some group  which articulates and amplifies the concern. This ‘someone’ may either be inside or outside the client system.  They may be a leader or a sponsor or an advocate at any level, but who they are may affect how the change agent operates and how much of a license the change agent has to guide the process.

This "care" and "concern," at whatever level and with whatever urgency expressed, is  the engine driving the change process.

 Your initial task as a change agent is to evaluate the status of this CARE impulse, to understand how the system works, to identify who the key players are, and to assess where the CARE is felt most keenly Such an analysis will then guide the process and give an initial estimate of the chances of success. 

A concern may sometimes be so intense or seen as so urgent or overwhelming that it vitiates rational action. The client's sense that bold action is immediately required forestalls serious problem diagnosis, extensive search for resources, and consideration of alternative solutions.  Thus, the change agent may need to develop strategies to buy time, to create space for reflection and for allowing the client to view the array of concerns without intense pressure for solutions.