The Change Formula

C = D x V x FS > R

Change = Dissatisfaction x Vision x First Steps 

that are greater than the status quo

or Resistance

The Change Formula Explained

If you are seeking some significant, system-wide change there are several core principles that need your attention.

You need a critical mass of people to be:

  • Dissatisfied (D) with the way things are.
  • Have a Vision (V), an image or an idea of what improvement would look like, grounded in practices that make a positive social, economic, and environmental impact while supporting healthier people. The problem is that just communicating the vision (or mission, or strategic plan) will not bring change.
  • Ready to take First steps (F). This means having a picture of what immediate actions can be taken.

FOOTNOTE: Dick Beckhard and Reuben Harris described the change formula and attribute its creation to David Gleicher. Adapted from Robert A. Gallagher 2005

The Change Campaign Process

Here are some questions we will explore with you in building a successful, lean campaign, targeted at making the changes you want:

  1. How might you define the problems in terms of your understanding of the needs of your constituency, the action(s) that will bring about change, or the way your constituents will engage with your organization?
  2. What are some ways to measure or prove your assumptions?
  3. What might you include in the design of a small-scale, simple version of your campaign, website or program and test your assumptions?
  4. What would help you monitor performance, and keep track of key events that either confirms or challenges your initial assumptions?
  5. What would you need in terms of resources and time to develop a scalable, measureable and affordable plan?
  6. What steps would you need to take to scale up and mobilize a united and diverse base of passionate supporters?
  7. What audiences do you want to target to communicate results, impacts?
  8. What ideas do you have to acknowledge the people who worked to achieve the goals and celebrate success?