Taking a Proactive Approach to Leading Change



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Proactively shape the change you want to see occur on your campus.


In the current environment, change is no longer an infrequent ‘initiative’ that needs managing—it is all around us, it is constant, and it is not going away. But this does not mean that leaders should give up their autonomy: In too many cases, we experience change as happening to us (reactive stance) instead of proactively shaping the change we want to see, and the pace at which we want it to occur.

Join us online to learn how you can take a more proactive approach to change management. Through a combination of instruction, case studies, and group discussion, you’ll gain practical tools for convening others and accelerating progress on your change effort, even against the backdrop of meetings and committees that characterize decision-making in higher education. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Assess your own influence and authority
  • Identify and persuade your critics
  • Discern when and where to spend relational capital
  • Maintain focus on the bigger-picture goal


Who Should Attend

This training is designed for higher ed leaders at mid-level or above who are charged with or invested in manifesting change—whether big or small. All functional areas will benefit from this training.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


May 18, 2022

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern


I. The Basis of Change Management

Our instructor will introduce common processes and change management frameworks to serve as a foundation for the rest of the training. You’ll engage in a group discussion about the change you are looking to effect within your team or division, or on your campus.



II. Taking Stock of Your Change Landscape

In this part of the training, you will:

  • Assess your own baseline level of influence and authority
  • Identify key players: Who are your critics? Who are your champions?
  • Take stock of systems and processes: What are the current enablers of your change effort? Conversely, what are the barriers? And what is getting in your way?

To help you apply these concepts, you will then be given a case study to workshop in small groups.



III. Relational Capital & Influencing Others

In this final portion of the training, you will learn how to:

  • Persuade your critics and leverage your champions
  • Identify the right people and moments for spending relational capital
  • Navigate committee and meeting structures to accelerate the pace of your change effort

To help you apply these concepts, you will then be given a case study to workshop in small groups.


Portrait of Sarah Marie Zehr

Sarah Marie Zehr

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office of the Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois System

Sarah brings more than 20 years of experience in industry and academia. In her current role, she works with the three universities in the system on common academic issues. Her success depends on relationship building, collaboration, negotiation, and sometimes managing conflict. Sarah also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she teaches the introductory course on higher education for graduate students as well as a graduate course on student affairs administration.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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