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Change Facilitation

Field of application

The Facilitating Change method can be used in various situations. It can be promoted to


  • Increase the awareness of students about the complex requirements for initiating change
  • Develop strategies and approaches for individuals, businesses and organisations to promote change from within
  • Understand the importance of facilitating a change process

Resume / Brief description


The Change Facilitation workshop starts with a self-assessment on the change characteristics of the participants before change processes are explained and key change promotion steps are provided. John Kotter´s 8 steps of change are then used to identify opportunities for promoting change processes in different situations.

Target group





Development agencies



Group size

The Change Facilitation method is suitable for a maximum of 20 participants.


  • To provide knowledge on change facilitation
  • To provide some instruments for a workshop that encourage reflection on change
  • To identify entry points for change promotion
  • To make use of the Change Facilitation method for students in their own situation but also in relation to their business ideas






  • 2 pin boards
  • 1 flipchart
  • Markers
  • Moderation cards


  • The workshop requires 2-3 hours time.

Implementation - Overview

The activity is realised in 4 phases   



Implementation - Guidelines





1.       Self-assessment and reflection on change


As a first step, the facilitator reflects with the participants on two questions:


  1. Why do we need change?
  2. What does change require?

In a second step, the facilitator unfolds the following matrix on a pin board with the different types of characters.  image-1621430326253.png

The facilitator puts the panel around and the participants can indicate with a marker in which area they would see themselves in regards to their openness for change.


2.       Reflection on requirements for promoting change


The pin board is turned around again and the participants reflect on several questions. Answers are documented on cards. The questions are as follows:


  1. What do we know about the people's perception of the proposed change?
  2. How do we best respect the different people´s needs, concerns and circumstances? 

Answers will be put on cards on the quadrant of the matrix.


3.       Presentation of John Kotter's 8 steps to promote change


Very often, there is resistance to change, which has to be anticipated.


The illustration below demonstrates that there are concrete interventions necessary to promote change.


Source: Mesopartner


John Kotter´s 8-steps is a well-defined process to promote change. In the workshop these 8 steps are presented to the participants.





4.       Reflection on ways to promote change along the 8-step approach


For each of Kotter´s change steps the participants reflect on concrete activities that can be promoted to realise these steps. Participants can also divide into four groups to reflect on at least two change steps.


A final presentation of results on the second pin board provides good entry points for the change to be promoted.

Example of application:

Description of the context


Mesopartner provided training on Change Facilitation in local economic development processes to students from Central Asia. It was a capacity-building initiative on the topic of change facilitation (see some students below presenting results).


       image-1621430409474.png image-1621430414555.png


Starting point: Self-assessment after introduction


The facilitator presented the matrix and the participants made a self-assessment. The results of the self-assessment were very diverse and created a good opportunity for reflection.




Reflection on possible reasons for change behaviour


In a second round, the students reflected on questions regarding

  1. The reasons for resistance to change, and
  2. How to best respect the different people´s needs, concerns and circumstances of the different characters to find a common direction

  Answers were written on cards and put on the quadrant of the matrix. 




Some examples of results include:


  • People resistant to change need stability and thus fear change. Future visions and the demonstration of advantages related to change might result in an increased willingness for new processes.
  • People in favour of change are generally not satisfied with the status quo and want to change it. They are often driven by a certain motivation and vision that requires explanation and reasoning. Meetings and communication between the different parties are highly relevant to provide better explanation but to also take into consideration the fears that are in place.

Presentation of Kotter´s steps of change and reflection on possible activities




The results of the reflection on possible activities can also be documented in an action plan. It provides concrete starting points.

Templates, graphics for download

A handout on change facilitation (from Mesopartner) is available at: Handout Change.pdf

Additional format/





  • Kotter, J. (2006). Our Iceberg is Melting, Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions. London: Macmillan.
  • Kotter, J. (2012). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business Press.