By Published On: October 30th, 2017

It’s true that Gordon Ramsay has great recipes, the best ingredients and cooking utensils. However, give me these same things and I don’t instantly become a great chef.  Yes, Gordon Ramsay has to have his tools but he is a master chef because of his “application” of these tools, not the tools alone.

The same can be said for driving organizational change. There has been heavy industry focus on change management tools and templates, standards and methods which, although necessary, are not enough to drive change, which we have seen from the disappointing statistics on successful change.  Driving change involves the difficult task of trying to invoke and sustain human behavior impossible by the action of completing a template alone. Action does not always equal outcomes.

Saying that, isn’t it time we matured our practices to include behavior based approach as part of our “application” to drive organizational change?

What Are We Cooking?

We would not start cooking without knowing what food we were trying to make. The same goes for change. When we are considering the scope and impact of a change we need to think about what critical behavior(s) would need to occur in order to achieve successful change.  Not all behaviors are created equal. Consider a change involving a new system and what business benefits and outcomes the new system is looking to deliver. I am quite sure that the behavior of completing certain transactions (adding new customers, closing a sales transaction) in the system carry more importance and weight on overall ROI than other behaviors (logging on, deleting a record made in error, etc.)  When we think behavior first, our change strategy and plan better support the desired business outcomes

Create the Recipe

Now that we understand the critical behavior(s) needed to achieve successful change our change strategy and plan should be in full alignment and support of these behavior(s). This is where having the right recipe for change comes in.  By having the right strategy and plan we can focus our time and energies in the most efficient way possible in support of the desired business outcomes. Additionally, positioning the change management strategy and plan in this way fully resonates with senior leadership and project personnel because the why of Change Management becomes fully transparent to them.

Test the Recipe   

Is this recipe any good?   Does it support what we were trying to make?  Finally, our adoption and sustainment measures should fully reflect and/or align to our critical behavior(s). This also resonates with senior leadership and project personnel as they are no longer trying to decipher fuzzy change management metrics which may or may not impact the business outcomes they are looking to achieve and may cloud the value of our change management effort.

I may never be as good of a chef as Gordon Ramsay, however, by using a behavior based approach to drive organizational change I improve my chances of my change recipe being just right.


Michelle Yanahan, Principal and Owner of ChangeFit 360, an organizational change learning and consulting business, is a passionate organizational change management strategist & thought leader with proven expertise in executing programs to enhance and grow organizational change management as a strategic business competency.

Michelle has 15 +years progressive national and global business experience in leadership roles in operations, change capability and competency development, change execution, IT execution, project execution/management and project management office (PMO) development and operations.  

Michelle holds a Masters in Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University as well as CCMP and Prosci ADKAR change management certifications.  Michelle is a frequent contributor and Board of Director for the ACMP Midwest Chapter.

ChangeFit 360 uses a behavior based approach to change learning and consulting. Want to know more ? Contact

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