• Birgitta Sjöstrand

What hinders the change?

The six levels of learning and change pinpoints where you can find the problem hindering your change. To solve the problem go to the level above.


This is a proven model called 'logical levels', developed in the 1970's by international expert in leadership and change management, Robert Dilts, and is based on the work of scientist and philosopher, Gregory Bateson.


The model helps us to understand the different levels at which we experience our world. The different levels are from the bottom up: environment, behaviour, capabilities, values and beliefs, identity and purpose. It is particularly helpful for understanding change for individuals and organisations. It takes a systemic approach to change rather than a one dimensional approach.

I use this model all the time, both while working with changemanagment and also when I have workshops teaching change to managers. Look at the picture, on your left you see the soul with it's awakening, service, contribution and connection, and on your right you have the ego with its survival, self-benefit, ambition and control.


Use the model to find out where your problems are. Use the model on yourself, your team or the organization. I will give you examples using change within a team.


Start from the bottom and go up:

1. Environment: Where are we? What is our physical environment? Are we spread out or in close proximity? Can we meet regularly? Are we in different countries?

Things that affects us at this level: Landscape, buidings, people, our own bodies...What we respond to, the world around us and the people who are in our environment and we meet. Do we get/give out enough information? What does the economy look like?

Opportunities and Dangers/constraints


2. Behavior: What are we doing?

The concrete actions we perform, regardless of our ability. How do we interact with each other? Are there any personal conflicts within the team? Are we efficient? Do we do what we are supposed to do?

Proaction and Reaction


3. Capability: All the general skills, knowledge and strategies we use in our team. How are we doing things? Do we have sufficient knowledge to perform? With the change, how much training do we need? Will it be different amount for different people? With the ever-changing world, do we need other training or add more skills in form of employing someone new to the team?

Energy (Emotional intelligence) and Strategy (Intellectual intelligence)


4. Beliefs/Values: What is important to us and what is true? Why are we doing what we do?

Beliefs and values are the different views we hold for true and which underlie our daily actions. What drives our actions? What motivates us? What helps/aids us? What beliefs do we have that can create change? Do we have options?

Motivation and Permission


5. Identity: Who are we?

Our basic view of ourselves. What does our identity tell us about who we are? Are we true or faking? This is what comes after: We are...

Mission and Role


6. Higher purpose: Why? In what context and for what purpose?

To see ourselves in a large ecological context and system where everything affects each other. What can we give to others? What purpose do we have?

Vision and Ambition


Looking at all the different levels it's easier to find out where the problem lies. What is stalling the change. You can use the model on your own life and in different contexts, for example what is stressing you? Zooming out we can look at large corporations or countries.


  • At which level do you think Brexits problem are?

  • At which level do Sweden have problem with gang violence?

Solve your problem at a level above. Good luck!