You can put together a long list of why making change happen is difficult. It is complex and requires more data, discussions, planning, resources, and so on.
But one of the simplest and most overlooked reasons is that in order to change the world, we need to first change on a personal level. And this is more complicated than it sounds.
Before even moving forward to explore the nature of change, we should take a step back to understand the term better. Based on the definition of Addison-Wesley (1991), Change is situational, like a new boss, a new team role, a new policy. While Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.
Therefore, whenever we are talking about personal change, we need to look at the process of transition.
We deal with infinite changes throughout our lifetime, which can be great or small, anticipated or unforeseen. Whether positive or negative, any transition may mean a period of adjustment. Accepting the new reality is even more difficult if it is unexpected or out of our control.
The whole process is problematic because it is a loss of the familiar, and our initial reaction can be one of shock and resistance.
In order to understand how people react to change over a period of time, we can draw on the expertise of the Scott and Jaffe Change Grid Model. Cynthia Scott and Dennis Jaffe developed this model and first introduced it in their article, ‘Survive and Thrive in Times of Change’ in 1988. The model, which has been attributed to psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief Model, shows a progression of four stages as people react to change.