How do people and organizations effect change?

Sparked by a crisis in my own life – I was highly successful and deeply unhappy, I made a transformational change and make personal fulfillment a key priority in my life. Then, taking what I’d learned about transforming human behavior (my own and others), I created the Q7 Process; a program designed to help executives move from success to fulfillment. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was creating a change management process not too dissimilar to ADKAR and other models.

The “Q” refers to “quadrant,” one quarter of a four-dimensional grid that represents the four dimensions of a person (and can be applied to a group of people), while the “7” refers to the method’s seven steps to the change process.

The Q7 process combines business coaching with personal coaching, to help people identify and reframe their self-limiting beliefs and find more joy in their professional and personal lives. It’s grounded in the notion that human beings can only be truly fulfilled when certain fundamental needs are met: a sense of inherent value, connection with others, meaning or purpose, and the opportunity to serve others. However, you could just as well use this process to change the performance of a team or organization; and you could apply to losing weight just as well as you can apply it to getting happy.

The Q7 Process – 7 Steps to Change

Successful change must always begin with awareness: self-awareness and/or organizational awareness, depending on where the need for change is identified. This must then be followed with a vision or goal for the future (this is common with most business change management models). My model then drops in a little deeper to ensure that change is more than just behavior modification and that a fundamental shift is occurring, a transformational change.

In my book, The Business of Wanting More: Why some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t, I go into a great deal of depth on the Q7 Process.

For now, here is a brief outline:

  1. Ruthlessly honest inventory of your life – on some level, you are working, eating, talking, spending too much. How is this working for you? What price are you paying?
  2. Vision for where you are going – this is the next step toward successful change and is the key element to leading change in others; it shows you what the finished result looks like and sparks desire.
  3. Subconscious barriers – identifying these self-sabotaging barriers to change is the next step, where one part of our brain is putting its foot on the gas, while the other part is riding the brake.
  4. Limiting beliefs – the convictions and opinions that are hard to give up because they are so deeply ingrained, yet which block the change process.
  5. Support – from family, friends, a coach or a group that will encourage and sustain you through the change process.
  6. Personal Practices – we need fail-safe processes, rituals, changes in our routines that will evoke and reinforce new behavior and perspective that support change.
  7. Road map – how you get there requires goals and a strategy for successful change, with your support system keeping you on track.

I don’t recommend you believe for just follow any change process or model unless it feels intuitive. I designed my process around what I saw work for me and others. Research in Positive Psychology has supported my process, yet you should see for yourself where you get tripped up and where you are successful when you have made (or they have simply happened) transformational changes in your life.

I’ll be exploring each of these steps as well as the quadrants in future posts but, for now, if you’re interested in learning more about the Q7 Process, you can order my book. I’d love to hear your comments on change; what has worked for you?