2. Change Readiness

  1. Professor Edward Finch
  1. Professor Edward Finch

Published Online: 16 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119967316.ch2

Facilities Change Management

Facilities Change Management

How to Cite

Finch, E. (2011) Change Readiness, in Facilities Change Management (ed E. Finch), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119967316.ch2

Editor Information

  1. School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK

Author Information

  1. School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 16 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405153461

Online ISBN: 9781119967316



  • Change readiness;
  • Flexibility;
  • Adaptability;
  • Responsiveness;
  • Layering;
  • FORT model


In Shakespeare's character Hamlet we see a man overwhelmed by the political flux and uncertainties in his kingdom. He makes the profound observation that ‘the readiness is all’. Much the same could be said about the readiness of facilities to support change. Some of the earliest work on change management by Coch and French (1948) dealt with the idea of ‘creating readiness’. Their concern was with reducing employee's resistance to a change that is perceived as being imminent within an organisation. Readiness can be defined as a ‘willingness or a state of being prepared for something’ (Cambridge, 2008). The human dimension becomes more apparent in the implementation stage and is considered in more detail in Chapter 9 on the subject of user engagement. But readiness is not just a human property, it is an organisational property and a property of facilities themselves.

This chapter tackles the issue of ‘readiness’ in two respects: (1) the ‘willingness’ of a facilities management (FM) enterprise to respond to change and (2) the ‘state of being’ of physical assets to respond to change (flexibility). Both of these challenges are more than simply overcoming or avoiding resistance to change. The art of change readiness depends on the ability to foresee future (social, economic, technical) changes from the external environment. Such scenario planning requires an understanding of a number of possible futures — probable, likely and improbable. Only by understanding the multiplicity of future states is it possible to adopt an appropriate facilities solution and the supporting facilities management solution. Without such a vision, buildings become over-specified for improbable futures and under-specified for futures which could have been anticipated. Not only can the building itself entomb organisations; inflexible contracts involving service providers can result in a costly misfit with requirements that becomes more prominent with time. This chapter considers both of these issues in turn — the challenge of flexible relationships in service provision (soft-FM) and the challenge of flexible facilities (hard-FM).