Our Blog – The Lemonade StandAre you doing change TO your people? 8 steps to help re-think your approach

Are you doing change TO your people? 8 steps to help re-think your approach

Gosh Darn It….stop doing change TO your people! (ok, maybe I’m shouting)

Here’s what I know as a change professional….don’t listen to the business when they say they don’t have time to do change properly! I know that does sound a little glib, however, for those of us in the BIZ, we rally against this attitude every day.

Global businesses have recognised the need to manage change properly and have created a roles, whole functions and capability to support programs in organisations. They have spent top dollar on training managers and yet, it’s still not part of the DNA.

Here are my Rules for getting it right:
  • Do the work up front – do it right, spend the time, do the planning and involve the right people and not at the last minute. This is where we get things wrong. 
  • Please use human-centred design principles. Get your audience involved. It may take a little longer, but you’ll get a better product that has a high level of commitment.
  • Managers, please, I beg you, take responsibility for bringing this change to your team. It is your role to understand the impacts for your team and importantly for each and every person as an individual. I know most of the time the decision for change may not be yours and quite frankly you have your day job to do, but unfortunately this is part of your job so speak out and make sure the change team know what support you and your team need. The more active you can be, the better outcomes you will achieve.
  • Leaders – hire a change practitioner you are going to listen to and value.  These people know what they are doing and will deliver the best outcomes alongside project and business leaders – but choose wisely, because it is a critically important partnership.
  • Resource your change properly. Make sure there is training and enough time for embedding. Often what happens is that you get to go-live and then the change person rolls off to another project. Who is monitoring the embedding? Who is making sure that your change is successful? Because the real change required will stall when no-one is watching.
  • Always use this as an opportunity to build capability. It’s not just about a system and a process change – it never is, because ultimately, you want people to do things differently. 
  • Change practitioners need to be reporting to a sponsor in my opinion. This is so they have positional power and can be influential. They need to be free to create partnerships across the business directly with the people, so that they can be part of the influencing strategy. Don’t stick them in the back room. (see earlier point 4, hire your best change partner).

PS – I want to call something out here. I want to recognise the plight of the middle manager. Often this group of important leaders are the filling in the sandwich. They will bear the brunt of everyone’s expectations and are often the most under-developed and underinvested-in cohort. These are your most influential leaders so please involve, leverage and build their capability, so that they can nurture and guide the vast majority of the organisation toward the desired outcome.

In 2020, we’ve had an enormous amount of change thrust upon us because of a rubbish pandemic that no-one wants or needs. There has been an unprecedented amount of change and at pace. This has led to such a mixed bag of feelings like overwhelm, anxiety, fear, isolation, freedom, stagnation (ok this is not a feeling) etc. The fact is, responses have been unpredictable.  


With this landscape of emotion, change manager’s can also help to build psychological safety, which has never been more important as we move into an ambiguous 2021.

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Lemon Co was created to help you make your change, the way you want, in a really people-centered way.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style

Maya Angelou

We’d love to hear your story and understand how we can help you. Reach out to Julie, our Head Change Maker at: