Managing Change 

Definition: Change management is an organizational process aimed at helping stakeholders accept and embrace changes in their operating environment. It involves the application of a set of tools, processes, skills, and principles for managing the ‘people’ side of change to achieve the desired outcomes of a project or initiative.  


  •  Ten guiding principles for change management: 1) address the “human side” systematically, 2) start at the top, 3) involve every layer, 4) make the formal case, 5) create ownership, 6) communicate the message, 7) assess the cultural landscape, 8) address culture explicitly, 9) prepare for the unexpected, and 10) speak to the individual.  

  • To maximize buy-in, minimize resistance, and make change work, involve others in the process. When people feel that they are valued participants in planning and implementing change, they are more likely to be motivated to make the change successful.  

  • Be clear about what people can and cannot have a choice about doing, but make sure to involve people in various parts of the change processes. 

  • Establish and use feedback processes to monitor implementation of key events and their impact. Develop a step-by-step implementation plan with key milestones and time lines. Create templates for communicating about progress, including report formats and graphics. Set clear expectations about what each level of leaders should be communicating about the change. 

  • Change needs to be reinforced and rewarded. 

Self-Directed Learning Activities 

 Relevant Readings: 


  • Clark, T. R. (2010). EPIC change: How to lead change in the global age. John Wiley & Sons. 

  • Cohen, D. S. (2005). The heart of change field guide: Tools and tactics for leading change in your organization. Harvard Business Press. 

  • Fullan, M. (2011). The six secrets of change: What the best leaders do to help their organizations survive and thrive. John Wiley & Sons. 

 Guided-Learning Activities 

  • Ask your supervisor or the person in charge to take over a troubled project. 

  • Work with colleagues to redesign a work process. 

  • Volunteer for a task that would normally go to a more experienced person. 

  • Serve on a task force to solve a major organizational problem. 

  • Broaden the services or products offered by your unit. 

  • Manage projects that require coordination across organizations. 

  • Come up with a vision that you would like to implement in your organization (e.g., pets in the workplace, longer breaks) and create a plan that will ignite the energy and commitment of others to gain buy-in. Present your case to your supervisor or peers. The more specific you can be in communicating the actions necessary for carrying out change and the more you can contrast new and old behaviors, the more successful others are likely to be in carrying out those actions. 

  • If possible, ask your supervisor if it is alright for you to experiment with different ways of accomplishing tasks using new practices.  

Formal Training/Education 

 School and Course Module(s): 

  • Casper College 

  • Leading Organizational Change - MGT 2050 (3L)(3CR) This class will combine leadership concepts with models of organizational change. Change will be examined at the individual, team, and organizational or systems level. The focus is on uncovering traps that create stress, waste resources, slow change efforts, or lead to outright failure and discovering how to lead, cope and win in the face of great change. Class participants become familiar with a variety of change models as they are utilized in real organizations attempting change. The class will examine how organizational culture is an ever-present barrier to lasting change and how that impacts the decision on the part of organizations to initiate change. 

  • Central Wyoming College 

  • COM 1050- Conflict Management and Mediation—This course begins from the premise that conflict is part of everyday life. It is as common as laughter, anger, and love and is probably no less important than any of these. Conflict is a natural, inevitable, and potentially beneficial part of our personal and professional lives. It can reveal injustices, usher in much needed change, and be a source of personal growth, social transformation, and reconciliation. On the other hand, conflict can also breed resentment and alienation, and may be waged with all manner of destructive violence, including war. This course provides an introduction to a range of potentially positive conflict management processes. It blends theory, research, and practical skills to help better understand and manage conflicts. 

  • Counseling-2300— this course presents instruction and practice in basic counseling and communication skills. It emphasizes listening, responding, encouraging, and initiating change in interpersonal communication through mediation and conflict resolution. (3 lect.)  

  • Laramie County Community College 

  • CNSL 2300 3 CREDITS COUNSELING SKILLS FOR HELPING PROFESSIONALS Students discuss and apply basic counseling and communication skills. In addition, students develop and demonstrate a command of basic skills including listening, responding, encouraging, and initiating change in interpersonal communication through mediation and conflict resolution. 

  • MGT 1500 3 CREDITS LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS Students develop performance-based competencies and skills needed to prepare for leadership positions in today's workplace. Topics explored include leadership communication, conflict resolution, employee and self-development, change management, coaching, managing performance problems, and team building. Students develop action plans for transitioning the skills discussed during class into the workplace. 

  • Northwest College 

  • MGT 2100 - Principles of Management (3) Covers objectives, planning, organization of resources, human relations, coping with change and conflict, and controlling as management responsibilities. Includes appropriate behavioral and management science applications to the management process. Prerequisite: BADM 1000 or six hours of business-related courses. (3 hrs lec).