The Dead Car Battery

December 6, 2017

It’s winter and today we have had the first flurry of snow here in East Yorkshire, fortunately as every morning (not tempting fate!) my car started first time…. however, what if now that winter is upon us your car didn’t?

One of the best examples of the Kubler-Ross Change Curve is the Dead Car Battery example. The following given example clearly demonstrates the transition process from one stage to another.

It’s a chilly winter morning, and it is dark outdoors. There is a thin layer of frost on the ground, but you are late for work and hence have to rush out to the car parked outside. As you place the key in the ignition and turn the car on, you realise that the battery is dead. What follows is a clear demonstration of the Kubler-Ross transition stages:

Shock and denial – Your first reaction is of absolute shock and denial. You cannot believe this happening to you when you are already running late, and you thus try to start the car again and again.

Anger – Now that you realise the car cannot be started, you begin to feel angry and very mad at the situation.

Bargaining – Even on knowing it won’t help, you start asking the car to start, just for once. You promise it in your mind that you will keep it maintained and get the battery charged as soon as possible.

Depression – All the negative thoughts start rushing to your mind. You begin to feel depressed, sad and hopeless. You fear your job will be taken away and see now way out of the situation.

Acceptance – Now you figure out what you should do next. You can call a taxi and decide to deal with the situation later on.

The Kubler-Ross Model holds true when it comes to business, work or employment. Every organisation needs to bring about changes in its management and policies. But besides the improvement of systems, there is also a change in the people or employees as also.

The Change Curve is a powerful model that can help understand and deal with changes and personal transitions and I would love to hear how you have effectively used The Change Curve within your organisation….and if your car started this morning!

Lynn Boulonois

Business Development Consultant

The Beech Centre for People, Performance and Organisational Development


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