Change paradigms

An overview

Léon de Caluwé, Hans Vermaak – OD journal, 2004

The authors present five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change, each representing different beliefs systems and convictions about how change works, the kind of interventions that are effective, how to change people, etc.

They are labeled by color: yellow, blue, red, green, and white print thinking. Each is based upon a family of theories about change. These five models function as diagnostic tools and provide a map of possible change strategies. They also assist reflection by change agents about their ability and credibility in each of the types of change. Most importantly, it supplies a common language between those involved in change to discuss how to deal with a specific change and their different viewpoints.

The ‘colors of change’ are described in more detail in the handbook ‘Learning to Change’ as well as in articles, tests, etcetera. If you like to know more, look at those publications on this site.

The article was nominated for the 2004 OD Journal Best Paper Award on behalf of the Organization Development Institute.