Creating Movements for Change: The Tenacious Change Approach

The Tenacious Change Approach is about creating ownership-based movements for change. The TCA was created through research, testing, and the practical experience of its developer, Tom Klaus, PhD. The Tenacious Change Approach is used to create a movement for change that brings the whole community (organization or system) together to participate, own, and lead the change.

What is the Tenacious Change Approach?

The Tenacious Change Approach is a framework for facilitating community, organization, or system change that centers the people most impacted by the change in co-designing it. Created out of research and practice, it features ten Essential Operating Principles and Core Tasks built on the foundation of inclusion, equity, and ownership. These provide a structure and process for collaborative change efforts leading to genuine collective impact.

The Tenacious Change Approach is a thoughtful, intentional, planful, and adaptive journey which can be undertaken by individuals or groups. It is not a program or curriculum in the traditional sense of how we think of or use those. It was created to help people facilitate ownership-based change in complex systems and complex adaptive systems. If you are a fan of “collective impact,” the Tenacious Change Approach is one way “to do” collective impact.

It is designed to help you make lasting change in communities, organizations, communities, and systems through ownership-based change and collective change leadership. It is a set of operating principles for inclusive, broad-based collective change leadership. It offers a way to organize and catalyze the work of leading change for long-lasting impact in communities, organizations, and whole systems.

Learn more here about how the Tenacious Change Approach has been used.

Learning to Implement the Tenacious Change Approach

Implementation of the Tenacious Change Approach requires two levels of training.

Getting Started with the Tenacious Change Approach, an interactive streaming video series of 10 videos, each no longer than 20-minutes in length. The 10 videos focus on each of the essential operating principles and its core task. Each video will close with an idea for how to use the principle in your current personal practice. The Getting Started with the Tenacious Change Approach Journal is provided to keep track of reflections, insights, and ideas. After each video there is a (brief) quiz to help you grasp and retain the most important ideas from the video. Throughout the series you will also have an opportunity to interact in real time with the developer, trainers, and other participants. On average, it takes six hours to complete the series, but that number could fluctuate depending on how much you engage with the material. This first level, a pre-requisite to the second, is designed to help you improve your personal practice in change work and provide common language and shared foundation for participating in the second level if you choose to go on.

Learning the Tenacious Change Approach utilizes the TCA Cohort Learning Experience in which you meet in a group of 10 to 20 others who have also been through the video series. The typical cohort learning experience is 11 weeks in length and includes virtual cohort meetings for two hours each of those weeks. Cohort members will also complete online course work which includes some reading, reflection, learning activities, online discussion, and praxis exercises to become familiar with some of the tools. In addition, participants will be given the opportunity to make connections and build relationships with the developer, trainers, and other cohort members in real time. There are three types of cohorts: Individual, Small Team, and Organizations. Individual cohorts are for people learning more about Tenacious Change Approach for their own professional development. Small Team cohorts are for 3 to 5 people from the same organization who work together in the same or similar change projects. Organization cohorts are specialized cohorts tailored to single organizations that are leading change in their communities. The content and process of learning is the same as for Small Teams. However, the dedicated focus on a single organization or group allows the TCA Cohort Learning Experience to be tailored to its specific needs and circumstances.