Be a Change Management Rocket Scientist

When you get down to it, change management is a pretty “soft science” – a combination of ideas from organizational psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology (and some other things ending in “ology” that I can’t remember). This, however, does not impress our friends in the “hard sciences” (engineers, chemists, physicists and other things not ending in “ology”). These guys become suspicious if you talk to them about things you can’t put in a test tube. “Show me the empirical evidence” they say when you talk to them about the soft-side of organizational change. “I want to see the data” or “give me the formula”. This is when a change manager turns into a rocket scientist and pulls out their secret scientific weapon the CHANGE EQUATION!

The effect is magical! Immediately our left brain sequential thinking colleagues become calmer. “Aha!! and equation - whoopee - sounds like math!” they say.

So what is the CHANGE EQuATION all about—well here it is:

D x V x F > R


  • D = Level of dissatisfaction with the present situation
  • V = A clear vision of what is possible in the future
  • F = Known and achievable first steps towards achieving this vision
  • R = Resistance to change
Impressed? - I know I am! So how does it work? Simply put, if D, V, or F are at, or near zero then R will dominate. The job of the change manager in their role as “Rocket Scientist” is to work out the metrics to be used for D,V,F, and R, to come up with the final calculations, and build this into their Change Plan. It may take a little effort – but the reward is honorary status as Rocket Scientist and temporary membership of the “Hard Sciences Club”


Ben Nash is the editor-in-chief of He is the founder and chief developer of the blog, providing tech/design support as well as tips and book reviews. Ben has held many interesting jobs in his professional career, including: barista, landscaper, public policy intern, barista (again), professional horse wrangler, ski lift attendant (aka "liftie"), political science teaching assistant, marketing and sales assistant, and an ecommerce/web d...

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