Image Alt
  |  Business Planning   |  5-Step Framework for Managing Change

5-Step Framework for Managing Change

There’s a saying that goes, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

As leaders working to build and scale our businesses to new heights, change is inevitable …

… Changes in our systems and processes as our vision evolves and priorities shift …

… Implementing different tools to support new initiatives and increase scalability …

… Even change within ourselves (and our team members) as we navigate the growth we experience and the obstacles we encounter along the way.

Love it or hate it, change is necessary. No progress can happen without it. But if it’s not managed strategically, it can trigger uncertainty that spreads like wildfire throughout an organization.

That’s why it’s so important for us as leaders to embrace it ourselves … And to manage it in a way that empowers our teams to embrace it too!

Rather than recreating the wheel … Or send you down a rabbit hole sifting through the endless research and whitepapers on the human psychology around change …

Let’s take a look at The Lippitt-Knoster Model for Managing Complex Change copyrighted by Dr. Mary Lippin, founder and president of Enterprise Management, LTD. We’ll put our OTS spin on it too by weaving in a few helpful nuggets that we think you’ll find useful too!

The basic idea behind Dr. Lippin’s Managing Model is that it takes 5 key components to successfully accomplish change — Vision, Skills, Incentives, Resources, and an Action Plan.

When all five components align, it will result in effective change. But if any one piece of the puzzle is missing, we’ll end up with something else.

Let’s take a look at each of these 5 components in detail, discuss the role they play in a successful transition, and break down how we implement them for the brands we partner with and within our own organization …


For OTS purposes, let’s reword this component to Clarity and Communication of Vision. Because what good is a foggy vision that you can’t accurately communicate to your team!?

A quote from my dad, Russell Gray says it best … “When you have clarity of vision, strategy and tactics become self-evident.”

Vision is the guiding force that helps us (and our team) prioritize, make decisions, and develop an action plan to achieve it. Without it, we’d all be running around like chickens with our heads cut off, jumping from initiative to initiative or focusing on menial tasks rather than the things that really move the needle.

And as it relates to change, if a team doesn’t understand the vision, they’re less likely to understand WHY the change is necessary, resulting in a lack of buy-in which can ultimately lead to resistance.

When we lack clarity of vision and alignment, execution suffers and instead of change, we’re left with an end result of chaos and confusion.

That’s why clarifying our mission, vision, and values is one of the very first things we do during the architect phase of building a business.


Dr. Lippin says that without skills, the end result is anxiety.

Regardless of how clear we are on our vision and how well we communicate it, if our teams aren’t capable of doing the work, they’ll crack under pressure.

We value skills at OTS too … but we don’t believe they’re the ONLY thing that a team member needs to successfully carry out their position.

Instead, we look at “the 6 C’s.” A person can have all of the skills (Competency) necessary to do the job, but without the other C’s — Character, Commitment, Consistency, Capacity, and Compatibility — They’re likely to eventually be crushed by the demands of their role.


The next key component in Dr. Lippin’s model is incentives — Referring to rewards, recognition, and celebrations. And without it, she says, the result is gradual change.

By expressing our gratitude as a team for even the smallest win, we build positive momentum that creates more confidence … Leading to more action and quicker results!

At OTS, we refer to this positive momentum as the ripple effect of celebrating our wins.


Dr. Lippen’s model lists money, time, and equipment as resources. But in OTS-fashion, let’s get a little more specific …

People — Putting the necessary (wo)man power in place so the team can get the job done without overload and overwhelm … And making sure they’re all operating in their respective sweet spots.

Providing access to the necessary tools  and the proper training to ensure everyone knows how to use them effectively.

Processes — Establishing and documenting the “right” way to complete the new tasks and initiatives.

… These things are all part of setting your team up with the resources they need to get the job done.

Imagine being totally excited and energized by a new project … Knowing exactly what you need to do and how to do it … But once you get rolling, you realize your success is limited by forces totally outside of your control.

Nobody likes working with one hand tied behind their back. Without the right resources, frustration sets in and morale is affected.

Action Plan

The fifth and final component on Dr. Lippin’s list is an Action Plan … And to this, we give a resounding YES!

If you work with us, you know that building a business 90-days at a time is part of our proven process for consistently generating positive momentum.

That’s because we’ve seen this mistake play out in real life … Oftentimes a visionary has a plan in their mind, but if it isn’t clearly laid out on paper in a way that feels realistic and digestible to the ones they rely on to make it happen, the result is a whole lot of false starts, zig-zagging, wrong turns, and burnout.

There you have it … a simple 5-step framework you can apply right now to manage change within YOUR business.

Yes, change can be scary … But by avoiding it, you’re only putting off your own growth and success. So if you’ve been itching to make a change in your business … However big or small it may be, here’s your sign to take action.

Cheers to doing something you’ve never done before to accomplish something you never have!

For help managing change within YOUR business ...


Staci Gray has over two decades of experience organizing real-world businesses to scale. She puts an emphasis on quickly collapsing the gap between ideas and profits by persistently executing for progress and results. Staci envisions a world where innovative leaders are no longer trapped by operational chaos and instead are empowered to efficiently and effectively solve real-world problems, impact real-people on a human level and generate profits quickly. Staci loves coming alongside mission-driven leaders who are using their ideas, influence and intellect to build successful businesses and empowering them to scale without losing their sanity, compromising their values, sacrificing their relationships, and drowning in operational chaos. Supporting leaders one business at a time!