Anticipate Don’t React to Change

Plan Ahead or Suffer the Consequences

Please anticipate don’t react to change.

“What is better than dealing with a crisis you might ask?.” How about planning for a crisis or, even better still, anticipating a crisis and being prepared. Let me refer you to two models that I use frequently. They are about change and crisis, performance and timing. They each point out the dangers facing a leader who is late to respond to change.


Crisis Curve (Strategic Analysis and Action (5th edition) © 2002 Pearson Education Canada)  plots Strategic Performance (Poor – Good) on one axis and Timing (Early – Late) on the other axis. It makes clear that the later you respond to a needed change the lower your performance will be.


Change Penalties Curve (Fry & Killing, 1988) also plots Performance and Timing. However it points out the late change penalty that will be exacted for those who wait to change until there is a crisis.

Questions you might ask about changes you think are needed include:

  • Why is change needed?
  • What happens if we don’t change?
  • What does success look like?
  • Who will or won’t be effective allies in the change?
  • Will the change require a “No” to someone or something?

This is the next in our series of resources you can find on my website.  Hopefully, it will resonate with you.

Are you prepared to pay the penalties in performance? What do you think?


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