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How to be a change agent

With two weeks left in 2020, how are you feeling about this year coming to a close?

Perhaps you are thrilled that the year is over and are ready to turn the page on a fresh, new year.

Perhaps you are grateful for the silver linings that arose in this unprecedented year.

Perhaps you are just too exhausted to even think about it!!!!!

Regardless, when I reflect on 2020 the word CHANGE comes to mind. As leaders, we have been managing rapid, constant, mind bending change all year long.

Research indicates that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail.


Most leaders have never been taught to manage change. Change is difficult, complex and very expensive to manage. Thus, learning how to manage change is a critical leadership competency.

Last week, I had a chat with my client Julia who runs several large-scale change initiatives annually and implements them extremely well.

I asked Julia to share her personal strategies regarding successful change management…especially in a year like 2020!

Together, we came up with these three critical strategies to manage successful change:

Strategy One: Recognize the need for a comprehensive, high-touch communication strategy. Sending out one email to announce the change is NOT a communication strategy. People need to hear something 6-7 times before they truly understand and implement the change properly. Julia uses a very comprehensive high-touch approach. She communicates the change in many different ways over time.

Strategy Two: Get buy-in from key-stakeholders. Julia is part of her organization’s executive team. She reports to the CEO. Firstly, she ensures that the CEO is on-board with any change that her team will be facilitating. Then she presents the change initiative to her peers. If the other members of the executive team do not buy-in, she knows her change initiative will be a failure. She has learned how to articulate the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to her peers so that they understand the positive impact of the change for their teams.

Strategy Three: Create an implementation team. Bring a diverse group of people together from all levels of the organization to plan and execute the change. Make sure you involve this team early on in the change process to ensure buy-in and commitment.

Leading change takes time and requires a lot of planning. Before managing any change initiative, take the time to implement the suggested strategies listed above.

I hope this will help you beat the statistics and improve the odds of your change initiative’s success rate!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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