Leadership On The Run

Leading Organisational Change

Episode Summary

From house to hotel – car to taxi! Airbnb & uber are examples of companies that disrupted industries. This led (forced) others to change and a whole new ball game for change managers was created…its called change leadership. Organisations are seeking to transform and according to Anderson & Ackerman Anderson (2009) leaders need to understand and embrace change leadership.

Episode Notes

In this episode, Jeanine and Paul unravel the model, tasks and competencies change leaders require to lead an organisational change. Research from: Anderson & Ackerman Anderson (2009) is featured along with the well known models and frameworks from: Bridges, Kotter, Lewis, Lewin & Demming.

There are three types of change occurring in organizations, each requiring different change strategies. 

  1. Developmental
  2. Transitional
  3. Transformational

Developmental change requires an improvement of the status quo. E.g. get better at customer service but still providing the same product.

Transitional change requires a change of goal. E.g. customers no longer want your current product, so you need a different one.

The models of Kurt Lewin, William Bridges, John Kotter and Demmings’ continuous improvement model provide suitable frameworks for managing these types of changes. i.e. developmental & transitional change.

The third - transformational change, is more prevalent in organisations these days and requires more than change management, it requires change leadership. 

The major difference is the status of the end goal at the beginning of the change i.e. The end goal in transformational change is unknown at the start. 

The conditions and situation of the change are also more VUCA (US Army Education Centre, 2018) (Bennis & Nanus, 1987) i.e. volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 

In transformational change, (Anderson & Ackerman Anderson, 2020), the change leader is required to:

The 4 competencies required of transformational change leaders (Anderson, 2020) are:

  1. Facilitation (of groups – all levels of stakeholders)
  2. Designing (structures, scenarios & processes)
  3. Role modelling (walk the talk and show others how to act in the new world being created)
  4. Learning (expanding your mind to be open to new/different ideas & to let go of the old).

According to Human Capital Management, 2018, during the transformational change process these critical competencies will shine at different stages and can broadly be categorised as:

  1. The Broadcaster – facilitator and communications expert
  2. The Architect- designer of scenarios, structures, and processes
  3. The Coach – overcoming resistance and developing growth mindsets.

NB For change leaders: Employing your own leadership coach is beneficial as they can help you reflect, acknowledge, accept, innovate, practise and mould successful behaviours, develop skills and ways of thinking to lead transformational change.


Anderson, D.  Ackerman Anderson, L. (2009). Awake at the wheel: moving beyond change management to conscious change leadership. Available: https://beingfirst.com/resources/beyond-change-management-ebook/ Last accessed 22 June 2020.

Anderson, D.  Ackerman Anderson, L. (2001). Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders 

Anderson, D.  Ackerman Anderson, L. (2001). The Change Leader’s Roadmap: How to Navigate Your Organization’s Transformation. 

 Bennis, W. Nanus, B (1985). Leaders: Strategies for taking charge

Bridges, W. (1991). Managing transitions: making the most of change. Reading, Mass, Addison-Wesley

Demming, W.E. Managing Change in Organizations: A Practice Guide ... [online] Available: https://deming.org/management-system/pdsacycle. Last accessed  1 February 2017. 

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.

Parker, C. Lewis, R. (1981). Beyond the Peter Principle, Managing Successful Transitions. Available: http://www.ralphlewis.co.uk/Change_files/Beyond%20the%20Peter%20Principle.pdf. Last accessed August 2020.

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Centre (February 16, 2018). "Who first originated the term VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity)?"USAHEC Ask Us a Question. The United States Army War College. Retrieved July 10, 2018.