We invite you to briefly take a neutral perspective on the subject of individual and organizational change and transformation, trusting that the following resonates with you. Building on our long-term experience in working with organizations, we derived, among others, our A\C\E\R\ Process, an SGA acronym describing the generic process an entity needs to walk through for change to happen and a possible transformation to start. A\C\E\R\ stands for Awake!, Comprehend!, Embrace! and Respond!.
AWAKE! The moment when we recognize that something needs our immediate attention
To awake requires a strong external or internal trigger indicating that change is required. Motivators at the individual level can be an incomparable experience, a groundbreaking insight, and/or a discussion on fundamentals with someone we highly respect. All these can spark a strong desire for change. As individuals, we recognize that something is going on that asks for our immediate attention. We AWAKE!, which is anything but a matter of course.
COMPREHEND! The process during which we build the competence that is required to take action
To comprehend requires awakening and awareness. Now we want to build understanding. We strive to gather information, share views and analyze data. Ideally, we thoroughly understand why things happen as they do, what is happening, and how it will probably change our lives. We develop an individual sensitivity to possible solutions. Facts that are revealed during this process are not always to our liking, so we may deepen our problem awareness as well. In any case, comprehension usually results in an individual intention to take action. We COMPREHEND! the need for change.
EMBRACE! The moment when we experience the critical emotion(s) to commit to change
To embrace requires awakening and comprehension. As a species, we seek purpose and meaning; in other words, a deeper sense of our being. After having found answers to questions like “Why is this happening now?”, “What does it mean for us (as a society, organization, group of people, family, etc.)?”, “What are the consequences for me personally?”, “How will the world (society as a whole, my environment, my organization, etc.) react in the near future?”, and “Who will take action?”, to embrace requires (individual) motivation. Ultimately, we EMBRACE! the need for change and are ready to do something about it.
RESPOND! The process we initiate to take the first of many steps towards positive change
To respond requires awakening, comprehending and embracing the need for change. As individuals, we no longer want to stand on the side-lines. We are not willing to wait for others to (re)act and/or to start to drive change. We already have the vision of an organization that no longer fears competition. We envision a future developing towards an inspiring, thriving enterprise. We want to set an example, right now! Action is what really counts, not the intention. In essence, to RESPOND! means to take the first of many steps towards positive change and transformation.