Leading brilliantly through change

🟤 Strategy & Leadership

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Nick Mackeson-Smith
Nick Mackeson-Smith
Chief Curiosity Officer, Founder and Director
December 17, 2019

Change can be tough.

It can be hugely unsettling for people who are going through it, and overwhelmingly stressful for those leading it too.  It also can be exciting, exhilarating, and an amazing ride.  Regardless - being a great leader through change means putting people first.

In times of change, you have additional responsibilities as a leader to help your teams navigate the uncertainty of what happens next whilst maintaining their focus, helping them tap in to their intrinsic motivation and still managing to sustain their productivity (and yours). You’ll need to adapt your style to suit the needs of each of your people.

It’s important to recognise that people will react to change in a different way, and will deal with the process at their own pace. The change curve can help you to discuss with your people about where they are at and determine with them when they might be looking for additional coaching or support to take them to new levels of confidence in the way forward.

The change curve can help us to understand the feelings that people have when moving through periods of uncertainty or change.
The change curve can help us to understand the feelings that people have when moving through periods of uncertainty or change.

For all of us, pushing on through the difficult stages of change builds new capability, new resilience, new determination, new ways of thinking and solving problems, and (at the end of it) a huge sense of satisfaction and pride in personal growth.

It pays to remind your people that the hard work and effort is totally worth it, and they should do what they can to stick at the change.

Here are some tips for how you can support your people through each stage of a change process.


  • Make sure that your communications around change are
  • Clear
  • Transparent
  • Accurate
  • Consistent
  • Timely
  • Inclusive
  • You’ll need to communicate regularly, and may need to repeat key messages to make sure that your people have heard, understood and recognised the scope and importance of the change


  • People will be influenced by your reaction to the change
  • It’s important to be an advocate for the change once the decision to change has been made
  • Let your people see and hear that you are on board with the change
  • If you can’t be an advocate, be honest about your personal levels of engagement with your own leader and seek additional help when you need it


  • Your people will experience uncertainty and will look for a sounding board to express their concerns
  • Listen to your people and help them explore their concerns in an open and supportive way
  • Encourage your team to problem solve together to find ways of dealing with change
  • Ensure that you acknowledge and reinforce your team’s efforts to sustain the change
  • Look after people - change can be hugely unsettling


  • Resistance to change is perfectly normal – expect some of your people to be initially disengaged
  • Discuss the opportunities change brings, and how the team might benefit from these
  • Encourage the team to explore how they will work differently going forward
  • Make sure you:
  • Are clear on why change is happening
  • Discuss the expected impact on their role
  • Are visible and available to your team

If you or your organisation would like help in navigating change, then get in touch.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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December 17, 2019
December 17, 2019

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