Pursuing a large organizational change is not a stroll in the park but a challenging journey from the current situation to a desired state. When going on such a strenuous expedition, you need to know both the route to be taken (the change path) and travelers coming along (the change participants). These are also called the project-side and people-side of organizational change.
As on any major trek over rough terrain, there are plenty of hazards along way. Having a change guide, who knows where to go and is aware of the inherent dangers, can increase the chance of successfully reaching the intended destination.
The Everest Model of Change uses the metaphor of climbing Mount Everest to explain the four main hazards people need to deal with when engaging in large-scale organizational change. Climbing Everest is a major endeavor, with the same four phases as in any change project: first comes preparation, during which a plan is made, resources are assembled and people are readied to get started; second comes mobilization, during which the group launches on its path; third comes realization, during which the largest part of the journey is completed; and fourth comes consolidation, during which the change is embedded and secured, so the organization doesn’t slide back into old behavior. In each phase there are multiple hazards, but one sticks out as the most treacherous to deal with.
The four main hazards (one per change phase) are: