What the heck is The AMSIR OF CHANGE. Simply put it is a way to get your head around the change process in any organization. It is an acronym for Awakening, Mobilization, Stabilization, Institutionalization, and Resurgence. It is something that I have talked about in many of my past articles and more recently in my eBooks “Leaders Driving Change: Leading Transformational Change In The Workplace” and “The Changing Workplace PLR” found in the Storefront. In those books, however, I hadn’t mentioned AMSIR, so I would like to outline it in this article.
But first when it comes to organizational change there are basically two approaches. Now these approaches are explained below but are more complicated and filled with differing dynamics in the cryptic explanation. So you are cautioned to be careful as you read them.
The AMSIR Of Change.
In most cases a leader who follows the developmental approach to change follows an AMSIR approach. In summary the AMSIR approach respects the following cycle.
Stage 1: Awakening – There is a recognition by the leader that there is need to challenge the status quo. There is work to be had regarding the clarity of a new vision, mission, goals, values and action plans. A renewed organization rises to meet the changing conditions.
Stage 2: Mobilization – There is back and forth movement towards the new direction. There is need to step back from moving ahead because not everyone is moving in the same direction. Those who want to hang on to the past want things as they were. Others want to move forward. This is usually a messy time but also allows time for creativity and experimentation. Slowly organizational structures begin to shift and there is varying degrees of acceptance and non-acceptance. There is a combination of people digging and moving forward. People are engaged in one way or the other. Often stress levels run high and it is incumbent upon the leader to manage the tensions. In my books I call this the muddled middle.
Stage 3: Stabilization – After the shifting takes place a settling in or a settling down begins to take hold. While the mobilization stage is underway different rules and regulations start to find their way into a new order. New ways of work, coordination, integration begin to emerge and there is a slow process of freezing the reawakened organization. People begin to do things differently – a renewed culture finds its way into the organization. The leadership team and management initiate new control processes to stabilize the new order.
Stage 4: Institutionalization – In this phase people become comfortable with the direction and want to keep it. The different way “we do things around here” is solidified. The new normal has arrived and people don’t want to change. Leaders and managers don’t want to rock the boat. They too are comfortable. They want to keep everyone pulling in the same direction – their direction. In time people begin going through the motions, there is less life, they are comfortable and creativity takes a back seat. If not careful, leaders and managers become blind to the forces of change sweeping other organizations. “It’s ok for them, they say, but not us.” The organization grows stagnant, frozen in time, protected and choked with bureaucracy. Monuments are built to honor the past. The organization loses its vitality and begins to wither and die.
Stage 5: Resurgence and reawakening - Ah, but someone begins to recognize that the life of the organization is stagnant. Perhaps new blood is required. A change agent is needed. Either one with a Fast Agent Approach or a Developmental Approach depending on the overall requirements and openness of the leadership team and management. The cycle starts anew.
In conclusion it may be time to take a look at your own organization and determine where you are in the cycle and if organizational change is required to meet new realities. Use the AMSIR Change Model to assess this. You will need to act if you are in the Institutional phase because you do not want to let opportunities pass you by or let your organization fall by the wayside. Many businesses that stretched back 100 to 150 years have failed in the past few years. People thought they would last for another 100 to 150 years. What happened? The leadership team didn’t fully appreciate that they were moribund and institutionalized. Do you want to be like them?
Thank you for reading and remember,
Stay safe, keep healthy and continue becoming the best version of yourself.