5 Strategies for Leading Change

Leading Change - Image of Chrysalis and Butterfly

by Marilu Goodyear and Jenny Mehmedovic

Addressing the challenge of institutional change is necessary and difficult. Each institution has a unique path forward; the ones most successful at moving forward are those that match their unique organizational strengths to a compelling vision of the future. Implementing change within our diffuse decision-making structures requires an approach anchored in social science, communication studies, and organizational management disciplines.

Drawing on the academic literature from these disciplines, in this article we discuss five strategies that leaders can employ to effect change at their institutions:

  1. Be clear about the purpose for the change - and paint a picture of the new reality.
  2. Understand and communicate the complexity of the change needed.
  3. Take the time necessary to help people "see" why the change is needed now.
  4. Explore the reasons behind any resistance you encounter.
  5. Use internal facilitators to ensure that the change process taps into the strengths of the institution.

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