How To Lead Change – The Best Freaking Way!

By | May 30, 2016

Does change happen in your organization?


I thought so…what are you doing to make sure that the change that is being implemented will actually be implemented on your “go live” date? Do you have a systematic approach to engage the very people who will be implementing the change in the process? Do you have a person on your team who understands the “people” side of change?

If these questions are difficult for you to answer in a positive way, then I would like to demonstrate why you need to hire a change management practitioner!

What is a change management practitioner?

Let me start by listing some of the qualifications for change management specialists in recent job advertisements?

  • Ability to think strategically and provide coaching to business leaders on how to support people through change
  • Ability to develop tools and tactics to shift mindsets and behaviours
  • Understand technology, system interdependencies and integration and workflow
  • Ability to apply a practical conflict resolution approach to optimize teamwork
  • Strong stakeholder management and relationship building skills and proven ability to influence others
  • Knowledge of continuous improvement methodologies
  • Knowledge of adult-learning fundamentals

A change management practitioner is also the resource who will help your team build the following:

  • Communication Plan
  • Coaching Plan
  • Training Plan
  • Resistance Management Plan
  • Sponsorship Plan
  • Reinforcement Plan

Why is a change management practitioner so important?

The Return of Investment (ROI) of having a change management practitioner leading a structured approach to change management is the improvement in the project ROI that comes from focusing on and driving employee adoption and usage. A recent Prosci Free Tutorial, “Understanding the ROI of Change Management with the Three Stages of Change” provided a great look at the WIIFM! ROI is basically the incremental improvement divided by the cost to realize that improvement.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) and My Organization…Return on Investment!!

What's In It For Me or Your Organization

What’s In It For Me or Your Organization

Let’s get right to it…change is inevitable! A change management practitioner will increase the Project/Initiative Benefits by more efficiently moving from the Current State, through the Transition State and more effectively arriving in the Future State.

In our global environment, change is continuous…inventing ourselves over and over again to enable us to compete requires a framework to shift our culture and empower people to challenge the process and continuously look for ways to do things better…this is the role that a change management specialist can play in implementing change in a strategic way.

==>Click here for my review on the best book on Leading Change!”<==

The Three States of Change

Much of the literature focuses on three states of change model—Current, Transition, Future—to describe change. Change is the movement from how we do things today (current) to a new way of operating (future). The actual movement from the current state to the future state is the change process (transition)


Current State Transition State Future State

This wording is simply different than that used by a couple of other writers:

  • Kurt Lewin (1940s) – unfreezing, moving, refreezing was his wording
  • William Bridges (1970s) – ending, neutral, new beginning was his wording

In the change management world, each project or change initiative can be described by what we currently do (current), what we will do (future) and how we will make the change (transition).

So, How Do We Determine the Project or Initiative ROI?

Initially, we can see that the difference between the future state performance and the current state performance equals the improvement or benefits of the project.

Following is an example that illustrates the ROI: examples below show how the difference between Future and Current performance creates the Project Benefits:


Future State


Minus Current State Equals Project Benefits
Lower costs Higher costs = Costs saved
Higher revenues Lower revenues = Revenue generated
Fewer errors More errors = Errors reduced
Lower risk exposure Higher risk exposure = Risks mitigated
In compliance Out of compliance = Mandates met

The ROI of the change initiative or project comes from that difference in performance. It represents the expected results and outcomes and benefit realization. In other words, that is exactly why the change initiative or project was launched!

Now, You’re Asking…Where is the ROI of change management in the three states?

To start, let’s remember that the goal of change management is to enhance or increase the project benefits realized by the change. Change management is the structured approach that improves the efficiency in moving through the transition state and increasing the effectiveness in the future state.

The ROI for change management is, simply, the difference between:

  1. Change Initiative/Project benefits if we can improve adoption and usage with change management, and
  2. Change Initiative/Project benefits if we do not apply change management.

We have a choice when a change initiative/project is launched – use change management or don’t use change management. The difference in Change Initiative/Project Benefits realized if we actively drive employee adoption and usage or those if we do not is the ROI of change management.

Back to our original question… Why You Need to Hire a Change Management Practitioner? 


A Change Management Practitioner will use Change management to directly support benefit realization and project ROI by increasing the Change Initiative/Project Benefits achieved through a more efficient Transition State and more effective Future State. By applying change management a Change Management Practitioner will allow you to:

Improve the Transition State which creates more Project Benefits: Increase the speed of employee adoption

Make sure employees have the answers they need

Ensure training occurs at the right time with the right context

Show leadership and organizational commitment to change

Reduce the number of barrier or obstacles experienced

Improve the Future State which creates more Project Benefits: Increase ultimate utilization of the change by employee

Reduce the number of employees who opt out

Drive employee proficiency when they have adopted the change

Encourage sustained results for the initiative

Reinforce desired changes by employees


Do You Agree…Disagree?

I would love the opportunity to discuss the possibilities. For a free consultation, please contact me at

What do you think…I would love to hear from you. Here is a link to my profile.

All the best!


Previous Post: How To Influence Change…the Best Strategy!

2 thoughts on “How To Lead Change – The Best Freaking Way!

  1. Alec Terry

    Really enjoyed your post as I feel the inability to make changes and see them through stifles many organizations from progressing and achieving greater things.
    Are there any good books in your opinion that detail proper management of your team and resources during times of change? I would be interested in checking that out.

    1. admin

      Thank you very much for your kind review and great question. Leading Change is a wonderful resource and you check out my own person review by clicking here! Please let me know if it is helpful to you.



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