The Rules for Doing Change Well

change Apr 19, 2024

It has been frequently demonstrated that a transformation, program, project, or process improvement activity will stand a far greater chance of success if people know what is going on.

Specifically, that people involved in, or impacted by the change, should know the following regarding the change project:

  • How it will affect them.
  • Why the change is happening.
  • If and when they will be trained.
  • That their “voice” will be heard.
  • That there is a support mechanism in place when needed.
  • Who to go to or where to go to get the answers they need.

Therefore, the most important part of managing change is that the people impacted by a change initiative understand the following:

  • The change vision.
  • The benefits that change will deliver to the organization.
  • The benefits that change will deliver to people, specific roles, and functions within the organization.
  • Where they can contribute through participation.
  • Where they can provide feedback.
  • How people’s issues will be heard and managed.

If there is a genuine basis for people to feel insecure, then that needs to be well managed in the planning stages.

There are a number of methodologies/approaches for managing change; however, the basics are effectively the same for all.

Successful change programs always incorporate these core elements in one form or another:

  1. Ensure that the change initiative is supported by the board of the organization.
  2. Ensure that the change initiative has a sponsor that carries significant and sufficient authority and power for the purposes of the project.
  3. Ensure that the change initiative has a robust and accountable project governance function.
  4. Have a clear and unambiguous vision for the change initiative.
  5. Have an effective and powerful strategy to communicate the vision.
  6. Understand well the impacts of the change initiative on all parts of the organization.
  7. Understand very clearly the various needs of all relevant stakeholders.
  8. Have a robust change initiative plan that has been contributed to by all key stakeholders.
  9. Have a keen understanding of all relevant risk issues and have in place strong mitigation and contingency strategies and plans.
  10. Have an organization-wide engagement model, e.g., that may include change agents and/or champions.
  11. Have an effective and powerful communications plan.
  12. Have a strategy to maintain change initiative energy and momentum—even when nothing appears to be happening.


  1. Review past projects.
  2. For each project, identify within them each of the twelve core elements.
  3. For those projects missing any of the twelve core elements, determine the impact of that omission on the project’s performance.
  4. Contemplate the implications of this assessment.

If you have or suspect negative responses to these issues, then your leadership or the leadership of others may be compromised.

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We’re proud to advise that the authors of this piece are Advisory & Mentoring directors.