Essentially, managing change is about helping Managers and Staff to ‘think and act’ differently and in a way that will make the change successful – whatever the change is – be it a large scale business reorganisation, or a small scale improvement project.

After working with many organisations over the past 15 years, our experience shows that there are a number of prerequisites for successful change.  For example, if I was a manager within Organisation XYZ, and the business was implementing the ‘LEAN’ philosophy within its operations to reduce costs and improve turnaround times, I will believe in the change and think and act in accordance with the change if:

  • There is a compelling need and clear vision for the change and I understand what it means for me personally.
  • My boss (and other senior managers) demonstrate their commitment to it by regularly ‘walking the talk’.
  • I understand what is expected of me, what I need to deliver, and I am motivated by these things.
  • I have the help and support of my colleagues and others as and when needed.
  • I am involved and can help shape the change in the areas that I am responsible for.
  • There are regular two way communications.  I am listened to and my expectations are managed effectively.
  • The way my team (and others) are measured and managed is congruent with the change.
  • I have the skills, capability and confidence to manage the reaction to the change both in myself and my team.
  • I and others are encouraged to behave in line with the changes and consequential actions are taken if we don’t.
  • I have the personal capacity to implement the changes as well as doing ‘my day job’.


To address these issues, it is vital that the organisation first prepares a Change Plan that identifies the needs of the organisation’s managers and staff, the changes that need to take place and the barriers that might exist.  Essentially, a good Change Plan will detail all of the key interventions that need to be made to ensure that the implementation of the planned change is successful.   For example, the plan should contain:

  • What the changes will mean for the managers and staff personally.
  • The overall implementation approach and key milestones.
  • What is expected of key managers during the change (their role, behaviour, what will be delivered).
  • A program of interventions to develop the confidence, skills and behaviour of key managers.
  • What the level of involvement will be and what is negotiable/non negotiable.
  • A communication plan.
  • Changes needed to existing HR (or Business) policies/procedures/measures.
  • The help and support available to the managers.


Once the Change Plan has been finalised and agreed, it can be communicated to all managers and staff, and implementation of the change can start.