5 Keys to Leading Change
with Hilary Potts
5 Keys to Leading
Change Through Others
In this segment, we’ll cover how to unlock the
potential in your organization by implementing five
keys to leading change.
It’s a framework that my clients find very effective in
thinking, strategizing, planning, and executing
change initiatives. It helps leaders move from the
business concept to determine what people need to
do and say to make the plan a reality.
Making Change Happen
Based on historical statistics,
70% of change initiatives will fail
Source: Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2013/04/change-management-needs-to-cha
Trying to Enhance Results
Every leader is trying to figure out how they can enhance performance,
grow their business, improve how work gets done and do that as efficiently
and effectively as possible.
The challenge is that to achieve results means something needs to
change, and people are a major factor in that change.
But here is the challenge….
Getting People Working in the New Way
People are a Key to
Leading the Changes
Most people want to results of change, but when it comes down to making
the changes, most people don’t want to be changed.
Some leaders admit that they struggle with getting others to accept and
follow through on strategic changes.
Depending your vantage point, change can be interpreted differently.
At the enterprise level, you
have a high-level view of the
entire business. You can get
a good sense of how groups
work together and how
activities fit together.
However, be careful not to
over-generalize what people
may be experiencing.
Group or Team
When looking at business
teams or functional areas you
can see the handoffs and
how work gets accomplished
within the group. You can see
how working relationships
and ways of working are
helping or hindering the
Each person will react
differently to change – the
physical, mental, emotional
aspects of accepting and
moving to action. When you
view change at the individual
level you can directly coach
and give feedback to
enhance and individual’s
Managing the Bumps in the Road
There are bound to be complications and issues which can distract and
deter a leader and the organization.
Leaders need a way to size up the situation quickly.
Facing change, and knowing how best to lead change is a powerful skill
and set of tools to have in your leadership toolkit.
The 5 Keys to Leading
Change Through Others
Over the decades in my work I’ve found that
there are these five key aspects, what I call the
Five Keys to Leading Change which is a
framework for leaders to assess their change
challenge and develop actions to move forward.
We’re going to cover each of the areas, so you
get a better understanding of this approach.
If you want more detail, I cover these
components in The Truth About Change.
Agreement & Alignment
Gain agreement around a shared vision and approach by discussing what’s
changing and why it is important to make these changes.
Expect people to see a strategy and decision from different perspectives.
Test your decisions before moving ahead.
Develop agreement about “what” you are doing and alignment about “how” to
carry out the plan.
Just because a leader tells the group about a new strategy doesn’t
mean that people will fall in line and start working in the new way.
Provide information and a safe place for people to talk about the changes. Listen to
questions and concerns to help people process the changes.
Be clear on what is expected of people and help them see the benefits of the change.
Get people engaged in the way forward. When we communicate in a way for people
to absorb what is going on and how it impacts them, people can move to the third
step – adopting and taking action.
It’s one thing for people to be aware of and understand a change. It’s
another to accept, and be willing to adopt and be part of the change. To
Identify the new behaviors to implement the change, so people know what to
do to work in concert with one another.
Define your role and actions to encourage, reinforce, and aid others in
adopting new actions.
Listen to the challenges people are facing and find ways to help them move
If you want new or different results, then the actions or behaviors you
and your people are performing MUST change.
Ensuring the new behaviors are understood
Giving people a safe place to test and try out the new actions
Being available as the coach and guide to reinforce new behaviors
It is SO much easier for people to ‘want’ to be part of the change versus
feeling they need to comply when leaders take accountability for…
Stay visible and active in shaping the changes.
Remove obstacles and address issues early – help others when they try a
new action and feel like it’s not working.
Ask questions, listen, AND provide positive feedback to shape the new way.
To accelerate results requires others and you to change and adapt.
Here are three simple actions you can take to support the change:
If you are only looking for the
end result, it can be difficult to
find something working in the
midst of implementing changes.
Before jumping into the laundry
list of what isn’t working – start
with 2-4 things that are working
and then pick and choose the
1-2 things to address.
5 Keys to Leading Change
1. Build agreement and alignment
across the team.
2. Help people overcome
resistance to accept the new
3. Pave the way for new actions.
4. Build accountability for the new
way by giving ample feedback
5. Accelerate the change process
through your actions and
Looking for More Tips?
Leader Change Toolkit
Inside the Toolkit You’ll Find…
• Ways to Prepare to Lead a Strategic Change
• 5 Keys to Leading Change
• Change Leader Behaviors to Lead Your Next Strategic