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Chapter 8. Human Change > Handling People’s Concerns

Handling People’s Concerns

One of the more useful models for helping plan human change as well as diagnose its current state is a concerns-based approach. Several practitioners and authors have been advocating this view in recent years. It’s practical and manageable if the commitment exists to see it through.

Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM)

The origin for much of today’s thinking on the topic stems from pioneering work conducted at the Center for Research and Development in Teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. The foundation for this approach to managing the acceptance and adoption of change lays in the massive programs of educational renewal led by the U.S. federal government and other agencies in the 1960s. These new programs apparently failed because of the lack of attention paid to individual change. Building better curricula, researchers discovered, didn’t translate to improved educational performance because the concerns and beliefs of those required to deliver the programs were neither considered nor managed. Although there has been great interest in and acceptance of the concerns-based approach within the realm of education for some time, it is just recently that many human change practitioners have come to realize that the impact of change is the same for any professionals or workers. The principles discovered in the educational world are universally relevant[1]:

[1] “Taking Charge of Change,” Shirley M. Hord, William L. Rutherford, Leslie Huling-Austin, and Gene E. Hall, Southwest Education Development Laboratory, 1987


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