Change Leadership: Is there a secret ingredient?

I had the great privilege this week to present at the HR Summit in Brisbane, on the topic of Change Leadership.  I spoke about change leaders keeping their approach authentic, and connecting in with the 'small picture' stories individuals will experience through change. Here are some of the thoughts I shared:

  • To lead change well the senior sponsor needs to be personally delivering positive messaging, however when change has a significant 'down' side for people, they need to be careful not to 'spin' bad news into good - trust is important if leadership is going to be effective, so it is critical to keep communication balanced and acknowledge that the change program will be difficult. 
  • Busy managers across the organisation have a hundred reasons not to embrace the next change program that is coming along, so senior leaders need to use their influence and a range of approaches to align these key people.
  • Senior leaders can be great at strategic thinking and seeing the 'big picture' of change, however it is a rare and wonderful talent for change leadership when they are also looking for and understanding the individual perspective, and telling these stories when they communication about change.
  • Really good change leaders manage to stay calm and keep things on track even when the emotional responses to change start to get messy and noisy. We talked about how they manage this, for example by having a good quality approach to engagement already in place, and a strong commitment to clear outcomes.


You can download the full presentation in pdf form below, and below is a trailer for one of the 1-minute Sticky Stories I used, a great story for illustrating what change feels like for people in your workforce. This story and many more are available on our subscription site


A HUGE thank you to the organisers of HR Summit for the opportunity to be a part of this event! It was a really intelligent and valuable agenda overall and an impressive gathering of HR leaders.

Change Leadership HR Summit 2015 Final.p
Adobe Acrobat Document 4.8 MB