ABChange Model

Do you know the steps and the process of change, but don’t know what to do with helping your people in the change you are dealing with now?

Are you concerned about managing the resistance of the change and how best to manage your people through it?


ABChange Model 2


The ABChange Model gives managers a clear framework to answer all these questions.  It defines the right leadership style and the order of priority of the change skills each manager needs to follow to implement specific types of change.


The trick is to identify the type of change you are dealing with, which can be resolved with coaching either on a 1:1 basis or in a small group workshop.  Once this has been completed, the ABChange model helps the manager create an effective action plan that addresses their specific people challenges in the change they are facing right now.



Coaching Case Study Using the ABChange Model

Each change a business leader faces is different – concluding that different skills will be required at different times during the change.  Unlike many other change models, the ABChange Model defines the differences in change and how a manager needs to lead their people.                                                                                                   

Charlotte, a senior civil servant was required to merge two teams to create a new function within the organisation.   The team members came from two very different parts of the business and related to the business very differently, i.e. one group was more project focused and the other group took a more holistic approach.  A great deal of friction had built up within the team and Charlotte realised she needed some help in trying to resolve the team issues and get them to work together better and more collaboratively.  Her difficulties were as follows:

  • There are several different changes needed e.g. conflict resolution
  • Decisions about the different business methods in each team preserving the best elements of both while holding a vision of the desired outcome for the organisation
  • There are two different teams with Different histories and different needs
  • Conflict and difference with individuals working in silos
  • Some members of the teams were losing their jobs
  • Re-location for some would be part of the process

The first step in creating a change plan for Charlotte using the model was for her to identify the type of change she was dealing with by answering the following questions:

Task – what needs to happen?

  • Is the change a minor or major for those involved and the organisation?
  • Who is actually involved and effected by the change?
  • What is the purpose of the change?

The answers helped determine the type of change she was aiming to manage from the model, which then defined the leadership style and priority of change skills required for her specific situation.  This is not to say that some of the actions of the change skills should/could not happen in tandem.  It is the order of priority of the skills, not actions, which is key.  However if Charlotte was to spend more time on the lowest ranked skill rather than the highest ranked skill, then she would definitely not be managing the change effectively.

The coach worked with Charlotte using the model and identified she needed to heal discourse with team members.  She realised she needed to use an affiliative leadership style which she defined to mean that she had to meet with the individuals in the team on a 1:1 basis. She decided to ask them what they want from her and from the team – and not “fill the silence” by trying to answer the question or ask more questions (her usual style).  She had to wait and listen for their answer.  One of her team members were so taken aback with the new approach, they ignored the question.  When Charlotte raised this in a coaching session, the coach said that she needed to simply ask the question again, wait again for the answer and not let the individual ignore it.  This would help build trust with the team member.  As a result of all this, Charlotte’s confidence grew, as she realised she did not need to know all the answers – and by not giving solutions to all the problems she enabled team members to solve the problems themselves.  This also generated more collaboration in her team because they suddenly had to go to their colleagues to help solve issues, rather than go to Charlotte.  Before, Charlotte had concentrated so much energy on getting things done, she ended up not managing the change of her new team effectively.  By changing the focus and using the ABChange model in the coaching session, Charlotte made a great deal of progress with her team, which culminated in the team’s ability to work together more cohesively and collaboratively, rather than working in silos.

Charlotte had been working with her team for 1 year before a very radical business change meant that some of the individuals would loose their jobs.  Working with her coach, Charlotte identified this second change needed her to use a visionary leadership style. She had to call upon her past experience with the individuals to build their trust in this change.  She shared as much information as she possibly could with the team members and gave them specific deadlines. If she did not have answers to their questions, she told them when she would be able to get back to them.  This enabled Charlotte to continue building the trust she had with her team through this very radical and difficult change.