Change has been the norm for years. Some people are still struggling with accepting all of the changes in their personal and professional lives. At work they feel like victims of change. It might be more productive being the person that leads the change.

In order to lead change effectively, a flexible, yet systematic approach is necessary. A book entitled, “Managing Change Effectively” written by Donald Kirkpatrick offers a seven-step approach to ensure that the best decisions will be made and the changes accepted.

The first step is to determine the need or desire for change. Which requires consideration of both facts and feelings.

The second step is to prepare tentative plans. Tentative typically means “subject to change.” This helps people remain open-minded and willing to participate.

The third step is to analyze probable reactions. Some people will resist, some will remain neutral, and some will welcome the change.

The fourth step is to make a final decision. Either the leader or a group needs to compare plans and approaches and decide on a course of action.

The fifth step is to establish a timetable. Some changes will be simple and quick, while some changes may be more complicated and take longer to implement.

The sixth step is to communicate the change. This will be a combination of telling, listening, and selling tailored to the reactions and suggestions of those affected by the change.

The last step is to implement the change. Spelling out the action steps according to the established timetable. Continuous evaluation will be critical to stay the course.

To ensure that the change will be successful, sprinkle in some empathy, keep communication lines open, and encourage participation. Creating a plan with guidelines for conduct can help coworkers accept and support necessary change. Active participation by all members is critical for success.   A systematic approach will bolster your credibility and can demonstrate that these changes have been well thought out and will probably work. Make some tentative plans this week and see if you can discover your desire for change.

If you need a variety of approaches to lead change effectively, contact me at and I will deliver a straightforward speech or seminar that will fit your needs.