Leading change

Leading change

You want the change you make to have real benefits whether the change is significant or the continual change of everyday work.

Because change is almost never straightforward, when we talk of leading change we are not thinking we will be in control of every aspect of it, rather that we will prompt and influence it in a direction of our choosing by analysing and planning.

  Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.


Match the tool to the task

  • Use the Describe desired changes to describe both the current and desired future position.
  • The SWOT analysis can help you identify issues and opportunities to prioritise your change actions.
  • The 7S model helps you think comprehensively about required changes to key aspects of an organisation or a change project.
  • Use the Resistance to change tool to understand why there may be resistance to change and to help you develop a way to deal with resistance.
  • When you have an important message about changes, in particular mandated changes, use the Planning to share an update or change tool to help you plan what you will say and how best to say it.
  • When your team is going through the change process, use the Stages of change resource to help you understand what stage they are at and find actions that can help.
  • Develop a clear change message will help you clarify your change message, making it easier for you to 'sell' your change.
  • Use the 5 Whys tool to identify underlying causes if things go wrong and problems occur.

Related policies and links

Related training

Further reading

  • Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organisational Effectiveness, Edward E. Lawler III (2006)
  • Managing change: A critical perspective, Mark Hughes 2010
  • Understanding Adaptability: A Prerequisite for Effective Performance Within Complex Environments, Shawn Burke (2006)

Hints and tips for conversations

  • Talk to the team about how changes will affect them.
  • Talk to the team about change as soon as possible and be open with them.

Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department