How the 5 Stages of Grief Help Us to Understand Business Change

Pink moon, often symbolizing the end of times and rebirth.

Change creates significant organizational and individual challenges, and people will experience an emotional response when they learn how they are affected by change. Understanding how people respond to change is an important leadership skill.

In Delivering Business Change—Where Is Your Sense of Urgency?, I used a simple model of change—denial, resistance, exploration, commitment—that is based on the conscious competence learning model. This has some similarities with the Lewis-Parker transition curve and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief model.

The 5 Stages of Grief

The following video clip, Sinking Feeling, sums up the 5 stages of grief perfectly (it also includes some adult humour.)

Screenshot of the [adult swim] video entitled, “Robot Chicken”.
“Sinking Feeling”

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