Done Right – the Hallmark of a Great Leader


Managing Change is the demonstration of support for innovation and for organizational changes needed to improve the organization’s effectiveness; supporting, initiating, sponsoring, and implementing organizational change; and helping others to successfully manage organizational change.

Leadership Development: What Managers & Leaders Do to Successfully Manage Change:

  1. Works cooperatively with others to produce innovative solutions
  2. Takes the lead or supports the setting new business directions, partnerships, policies or procedures
  3. Seizes opportunities to influence the future direction of an organizational unit or the overall business
  4. Helps people to develop a clear understanding of what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the organization
  5. Sponsors, implements or supports various change management activities (e.g., communications, education, team development. coaching)
  6. Establishes or supports structures and processes to plan and manage the orderly implementation of change
  7. Helps individuals and groups manage the anxiety associated with significant change
  8. Facilitates groups or teams through the problem solving and creative thinking processes leading to the development and implementation of new approaches, systems, structures and methods


Managing change means identifying what an organizational unit needs to do differently in the future and developing and implementing plans for change. This competency is important because most organizations need significant, ongoing change – in structure, work processes, procedures, and styles of management. To remain competitive, organizations need many people with the drive and skill to identify and implement these changes.

Without this competency, organizations will either fail to implement changes or implement them poorly, with loss of productivity and employee morale.


Part of what is needed to develop this competency is a new attitude about your role: an attitude that emphasizes taking initiative, demonstrating a sense of urgency, persisting in the face of resistance, and refusing to accept the status quo.

In addition to a change in attitude, managing change also requires developing some knowledge and skill in the processes and tools of organizational change. The best way to acquire this knowledge and skill is by participating in an organizational change or leadership development process led by a skilled leader or consultant. If possible, ask an internal or external consultant to guide your team through the process of change and to teach some of the techniques and tools.

Since this is not always possible, you may need to use other methods. You may be able to take a course on change management offered by an internal or external consultant. You can learn some of the tools for change by reading some of the references in this section. You can also learn by doing: planning and implementing a change, reflecting on what has worked effectively and less effectively, and planning next steps accordingly.

This competency builds on many other competencies, such as Fostering Teamwork, Empowering Others, Establishing Focus, Providing Motivating Support, Interpersonal Awareness, Influencing Others, and Persuasive Communication. If you are also working on one of these competencies, you will learn techniques that can be applied in Fostering Innovation.


  • Organize a team to identify new directions or procedures for your unit.
  • Volunteer to serve on a team charting change for a larger part of the organization than your unit.
  • Organize a meeting of the people in your unit to discuss and clarify what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the organization.
  • Try out a team problem solving or decision making process that you have read or heard about with a team on which you are a member.


Each time you try out a new change management process (e.g., for planning, team decision making, team problem solving) hold a session with the team to discuss what went well and what could be done differently and better in the future.


Volunteer to serve on a cross-functional team charged with implementing change.  Observe what the team leader does and keep of list of ideas to apply in your own unit.

Interview someone who has successfully led an organizational unit through change.  Consider people outside of your own organization, as well as people within it. Ask the person to walk you through the process he/she led. Find out how the person approached this situation and what he/she specifically did. Ask about problems that were encountered and how they were addressed.


If you are coaching someone who is trying to develop this competency, you can:

  • Assign the person to work on a team headed by a consultant or internal leader who is skilled in change management.
  • Help the person develop a plan for working with his/her unit to implement change. Think through the resources and support this person will need. Try to anticipate and develop contingency plans for problems that may be encountered.
  • Make yourself available on a regular basis to discuss how the change management efforts are progressing.


By March 15, I will hold a meeting with the staff in my unit, to review the overall direction of the division and identify what our unit needs to do differently to implement this direction and to develop a plan for change.

By April 10, I will identify a new group problem solving method and try it out in my unit.

By May 1, I will read Corporate Transformation, by Kilmann and Covin and develop a list of ideas to try out in my unit.


COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT GUIDE – the only Resource Guide for the Development of Competencies

Table of Contents for entire Competency Development Guide, including a sample of a leadership competency development guide for one competency.

The Guide is available for individual purchase in print and PDF versions, and as a license for organization-wide use that includes rights for use of Workitect’s Competency Dictionary and a set of 35 Competency Interview Guides. 360 feedback instruments for assessment and development are also available.

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