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Change Facilitation

Field of application

Facilitating change processes can be used in many different circumstances. It can be promoted to

  • increase the awareness of students about the complex requirements for initiating #change
  • as well as providing entry points
  • increase ways and #strategies inside individuals, businesses and organisations to promote change from within
  • understand about the importance of #facilitating a change process when trying to promote change

Resume / Brief description


The workshop on change facilitation starts with a self-assessment on 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 used to then identify opportunities for promoting change processes in different circumstances.

Target group


Students, consultants, development agencies, businesses, max. 20 participants


  • Provide knowledge on change facilitation
  • Provide some instruments for a workshop that encourage change reflection
  • Promote the concrete identification of entry points for change promotion
  • Making use of the change facilitation approach for students in their own situation but also in relation to their business ideas, or to promote organisations and businesses  






·        2 pin boards, 1 flipchart, markers, moderation cards


·        The time of the workshop requires 2-3 hours.

Implementation - Overview

The methodology is realized in 4 phases   


Implementation - Guidelines








  • 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 make a cross with a marker in which area they would see themselves in regard to their openness for change.




The pin board is turned around again and the participants reflect on several questions. Answers are documented on cards. Questions are the following: 1) what do we know about the people ‘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 in the quadrant of the matrix.




  • Change efforts in a system always also create resistance to change. This has to been anticipated.
  • The graphic below demonstrates that there are concrete interventions necessary to promote a change.


Source: Mesopartner


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




IV.              Reflection on concrete ways tp 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 realize these steps. Participants can also divide into 4 groups to reflect on at least two change steps.
  • A final presentation of results on the second pin board provide good entry points for the change to become promoted.

Example of application:

Description of the context

Mesopartner provided a 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 certain results).

       image-1621430409474.png image-1621430414555.png




Starting point: Self-assessment after introduction

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



Reflection on possible reasons for change behaviour

The students reflected in a second round on the questions on a) the reasons for the resistance for change, and b) how to best respect the different people´s needs, concerns and circumstances of the different characters to find a common direction?  Answers should be put on cards in the quadrant of the matrix. 


Some of the results were the following:

  • People resistant to change require stability and thus fear change. Future visions and the demonstration of change advantages might have the effect to increase their willingness for new processes.
  • People rather in favour of change are in general are 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 considerations the fears that are in place.


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


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

Templates, Graphics for download

Handout on change facilitation (from Mesopartner): Handout Change.pdf

Additional format/references



·        John Kotter: Pour Iceberg is Melting, Changing and Succeeding under Any Conditions.

·        John Kotter: Leading Change.