Stage 4.1  Order Finding

You begin Stage 4 by building on Stage 3. Bringing together all the findings that you have acquired regarding the nature of the problem and the underlying characteristics of the client system, including strengths and weaknesses, the readiness for change, etc. You have identified opportunities and key persons who might help the change process either as informants, as facilitators, or as active participants. You also have assembled a number of facts about possible solutions. Some are merely ideas or hoped for outcomes offered by members of the system, reflecting their cares and concerns (Stage 0). Others are more substantial, reflecting the experience of people at other sites. Some change ideas may come pre-packaged with specific step-wise implementation strategies, materials, and even expert "consultants" who can fly in or drive over to help put the innovation or innovation project in place.

It is always helpful to put down in writing or in some other organized form what you now know that is relevant to the change effort. This will not only help you to organize your thinking and planning but will also help enormously in working with your change team and subsequently with the client system leadership and membership.

The elements of the knowledge base might be arranged as follows:

Diagnostic Knowledge

D-1. Major concerns of the system as a whole, perhaps listed in apparent order of intensity or numbers of people who are concerned.

D-2. Research findings related to these types of concerns as documented in the literature.

D-3. Major features of the system relevant to this change effort.  

D-4. The major stakeholders relevant to the change process with an estimate of their current stance: pro or con, resistant or open.

D-5. Strengths and assets of the system and various members that can be brought to bear on the change effort.

Solution-oriented Knowledge

S-1. Solution ideas from members of the client system.

S-2. Documented history of innovations and change projects within this system relevant to the one(s) under current consideration.

S-3. Documented innovations or change projects from other systems.

S-4. Research studies documenting and evaluating innovations and tried solutions related to those under consideration.

S-5. Names of experienced practitioners or experts who know about the type of change being considered.

S-6. Materials that are relevant to solutions under consideration, including   packaged programs, tapes, manuals, brochures, etc., perhaps with a rating of the relative costs and quality of such material and evaluations of the extent to which materials work with what ease and what results.