The Generating Change Model

The Generating Change Model (GCM) recognizes that change in human organizations is often driven laterally, especially in these days of pervasive and continuous change. The top-down models have been proven largely ineffective, and modern research shows most change is propagated by social influence.

So, the GCM model shows how to mobilize social influence. The good news is it can be initiated by anyone. You do not have to be a CEO or president. While top-down authority is not overlooked, it is not the main engine of change.

Rather than “steps” or “stages” there is a system of continuous activity (Align, Design, Involve, Evolve) where each community engages the next to flow the change outward. While there is feedback, the overall direction is to feedforward as each commuity shapes the next.



Align community is leaders and key influencers.

  • Develop & socialize change story
  • Begin stakeholder analysis
  • Success Factor: Get consensus on change story with key leaders


The Design community is both stakeholders and experts (architects, engineers, process designers) who co-design the needed solutions.

  • Co-design with stakeholders and experts
  • Set the stage with broader communications
  • Develop change strategy & plan
  • Success Factor: A clear change description &plan


The Involve community is the passionate, first movers who experiment and learn news behaviors. They are role models for mobilizing the rest of the population.

  • Engage first adopters
  • Facilitate sharing of stories and best practices
  • Mobilize first adopters to engage others interpersonally
  • Success Factor: Proven change


The Evolve community is the wider population. They must be mobilized by interpersonal influence, and they adopt by  seeing their colleagues have aleady adopted the change.

  • Hook practices in process & tools
  • Install new incentives & success measures
  • Monitor and refine structures & practices
  • Outcome: Embedded change






(c) The Generating Change Model is copyright by Doug Walton PhD