Managing Change



Change is a multi-stage process not an event



“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” ‐Benjamin Disraeli



In this module, you will learn how you can manage change effectively‐‐amongst your team, and within yourself. Each person responds differently to change, and we will discuss ways to bring awareness, engage others, prepare for, address opposition, and implement new changes into your organization successfully.



Here are actions that you can do, starting today!

1. In your next staff meeting, have a conversation regarding the campus budget and address some of the concerns your staff may have. While you may not have the answers, they will be more likely to appreciate having a conversation.

2. Watch Jason Clarke’s Ted Talk on Embracing Change. Think about what reason resonated within you as you watched the video. Reflect on how this behavior may influence your staff’s behaviors and actions.

3. Start Dream Sessions. In times of change, we often have to think outside of the box. Enact Dream Sessions where staff can brainstorm possibilities and solutions regarding possible changes. It may just spark a creative, innovative idea for your department.



▪ Honest, frequent communication with your staff regarding possible changes on the horizon is vital to implementing any kind of change. Don’t wait until you have all the details. At the same time, do as much as you can to get the latest information about the change. Ask your manager for updates frequently.

▪ A vision of the future. What will your Unit/Student Affairs look like after the change is implemented? Incorporate opportunities and benefits into your communication strategy.

▪ Envision and identify possible risks (resistance, budget, staffing) and develop a plan to overcome them. The more proactive you are in terms of preparing for change, the more likely the change will be successful. The key is to get out in front of change.

▪ Talk to your staff and other managers frequently. “Widen the circle.” Involve others in discussions about what can be done to adapt to change. A common misconception about change is that that if you acknowledge that times are stressful, that this will make things worse. The opposite is true. Normalize staff reactions. Empathize with them. Talk about how emotions can be intense at times like this, and that we all need to be especially kind and patient with each other. Allow staff to spend time connecting about their experiences. Be patient with employees who have intense reactions about what is happening,yet maintain limits for behaviors that cross a line of civility and respect. 


External forces regarding change are undeniable and unknown.  As a manager/leader, focus on areas you do control, such as:

  • Building and maintaining trust.
  • Communicating frequently, openly, and transparently.
  • Talking to staff members about strengths and professional goals.

We have included an in-depth change management resource below. It lists the various stages needed during a change management process: awareness, engagement, preparation, and implementation. The resource also covers how to address resistance. 



Download the full version of the change management toolkit here.

Download the 1 page PDF version of information on change management.

Youtube video: How to Adapt to Change in the Workplace