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Quick Tips

Prepare yourself for change.
  • View change as an opportunity, not a nuisance.
  • Interview a peer who has successfully implemented a change to learn what worked best for that person.
  • Gather as much information about and rationale for the change as you can and share it.
  • Be aware that people react differently to change.
Help people adjust to the impact of change.
  • Check everyone's understanding of what is changing and why.
  • Address concerns and fears right away.
  • Set expectations beforehand so people aren't surprised or discouraged.
  • Take steps to minimize the impact.
  • Share information about the change.
  • Reassure people that their feelings are normal.
  • Talk with others about how the change is affecting them and you.
  • Track progress to determine when people need encouragement or praise.
Share responsibility for implementing change.
  • Include everyone who might be affected by the change.
  • Explain how the change will affect roles and responsibilities, if at all.
  • Look for people who will champion the implementation to help encourage others to take responsibility.
  • Encourage people to question assumptions and try new ideas.
  • Let the group learn from its mistakes.
Integrate the change into the team's daily work life.
  • Align systems to support the new way of doing business.
  • Provide ongoing training.
  • Lead by example.
  • Measure progress by using ROI statements, partner feedback, and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Celebrate success, reward creativity, and publicize progress.

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Being unprepared when introducing a change to people.
If you're uncertain about a change and its impact:
  • You could mislead people about what will happen and what their roles will be in implementing the change.
  • You won't be able to answer their questions, which could increase their level of fear and anxiety.
  • People might not take the change seriously.
Thinking your job is done once you have announced the change.
If you don't provide the ongoing support people need:
  • It could take longer than anticipated to implement the change.
  • They won't be committed to the change because they'll think you're not committed to it.
  • People, who already are busy with their regular workloads, will become resentful and uncooperative.
  • The group will be reluctant to take risks.
Dismissing people's reactions.
If you don't take people's reactions to change seriously:
  • They will be less likely to commit to the change.
  • They might not help implement the change wholeheartedly.
  • They might actively work against the change.
  • It will be more difficult to enlist their support for the next change.

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Articles and Books


Blanchard, K. (2010, January). "Mastering the Art of Change." Training Journal, 44–47.

The article offers strategies to help leaders lead a successful change. The author writes about how leaders should give more influence and involvement to those involved in the change to help make it more successful.

Eaton, M. (2010, March). "How to Make Change Stick." Training Journal, 46–50.

The article discusses why some organizations are able to have successful change initiatives while others are less than successful. When an organization understands its preparation, implementation, and embedding strategies, the article asserts there is a higher likelihood of success.

Ford, J.D. & W. (2009, April). "Decoding Resistance to Change." Harvard Business Review, 87(4), 99–103.

There are resisters with almost every change initiative who often get the blame if the change doesn't go well. Leaders are doing themselves a disservice in placing blame on these employees rather than using the resistance as feedback to the change. This article gives strategies on using resisters and their feedback as ways to manage change more productively.

Hurn, B. J. (2012). "Management of Change in a Multinational Company." Industrial & Commercial Training, 44(1), 41–46.

This article explores factors needed for a successful change initiative. Among those factors are the need for communication at all levels, overcoming resistance to the change, and how to plan for the implementation.

Kotter, J.P. (2007, January). "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail." Harvard Business Review, 85(1): 96–103.

The author reports on a 10-year study he conducted on how organizations that have attempted change themselves in order to be more competitive. He writes on the eight mistakes organizations make that most likely end in a failed initiative while also providing lessons on success.

Roberts, R.A. (2011, January). "You Want to Improve? First You Must Change." Supervision, 72(1): 11–13.

The author explains how leaders need to establish a culture of change among their teams. When a team sees the importance of change and improvement within their role or the company, they are less likely to resist the change.


Bridges, W. & Bridges, S. (2009). Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change (3rdEd.). Philadelphia: Da Capo Press.

When changes occur, quite often the psychological and emotional shifts that need to be made are more difficult than the change itself. Geared toward all levels of management, this book provides leaders with strategies and tools to help them minimize the disruptions that changes often cause.

Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Crown Business Publishing.

Some changes are easy, some are more difficult and the authors of the book present their research on why this occurs. They assert that people’s brains are equipped with two systems, the rational and the emotional, that are often in conflict with each other, making us more resistant to some changes. They offer strategies of overcoming this conflict to be able to move through change more quickly.

Kotter, J.P. (2008) A Sense of Urgency. Boston: Harvard Business Press.

Change initiatives often fail or are lackluster at best. The author explains this is often because there is either complacency or a false sense of urgency. He provides a strategy and four tactics on creating a true sense of urgency.

Pritchett, P. & Pound, R. (2009). Business As Unusual: The Handbook for Managing and Supervising Organizational Change. Dallas, TX: Pritchett Publishing Company.

This book offers 27 guidelines for managers to follow when they are implementing an organizational change. The focus of these guidelines is how to maintain morale, uphold performance of team members, and retain employees during a time of change.

Rogers, R.W., Hayden, J.W., & Ferketish, B.J. (with Matzen, R.). (1997). Organizational Change That Works: How to Merge Culture and Business Strategies for Maximum Results. Pittsburgh, PA: DDI Press.

The change process outlined in this book addresses both the capital and human assets involved in organizational change. The authors show change leaders and executives how to develop strategic focus, align processes and systems, make key business and cultural measurements, and gain employee commitment to the change effort.


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