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Ideas for a Managing Change workshop


I am in the process of desiging a workshop for managers in the public sector who will need to lead their staff through lots of change in the next year.

Does anyone have any exercises/resources that may managers learn how to manage the process, particularly the 'people' element?

I have searched the Any Answers archive and was surprised to find very little on this.

derek hughes

11 Responses

  1. A Book to Read
    Hi Derek

    I recommend you read Managing Transitions by William Bridges. There’s some good material in there, particularly the people aspect that you’re after.


  2. managing the psychology of change
    Hi Derek
    The real challenge to managing change is not the implementation but the design in the first place, if the design is right, clear to all concerned and well communicated, we humans can do change very well, if these things aren’t done effectively then its a little like putting a sticking plaster on a large leg wound – nice idea but useless in practice.

    For details about the psychology of change please have a look at my page change management tools, models and methods. I am sure you will find enough material to form the basis of a one day workshop.

    When you say ‘lots of change’ do you mean that was then… this is now or do you mean this is new… and now this is new … and now we change this…? If the first you are ok… if the latter you will have a BIG problem.

    I have been involved in managing change from very large scale (17000 to 2500 people reduction) and 17 sites to 1 site. In addition I have had to deal with organisations where change was not managed and had to ‘deal’ with the aftermath, this took years to resolve!

    In my experience change cannot and must not be an after thought, it must be in the very fabric of the change, in other words to be effective… change is less of a training matter and more of a consulting matter.

    Hope this helps
    Mike Morrison

  3. Action Plan Resource for Managing Change
    I can offer you free access to a 60-minute online tutorial on change management that will hopefully give you some ideas and exercices to use. The tutorial covers how change affects people, how to deal with change, and it offers help on how to develop change and transition plans.
    Just email me if you’d like access. Thanks. Nicole [email protected]

  4. Ideas for managing Change
    It would be worth your while looking at Your Preferences for change on the Academy 28 web site.
    They have produced a very interesting tool that can be used for profiles and change management activites.
    They also had an interesting reveiw in training & coaching today recently.
    Good luck.
    Andrew Field.

  5. A couple of exercises for you
    Hi Derek,

    Like other respondents, I too have written quite a lot of material for training in this area…but you specifically asked for ideas and activities, not someone to do your job for you!

    I found a good exercise by Fenman called ‘The Marching Game’, which works very well. You have to buy if from their website, and it costs about £15 I think.

    Here is another good one, lifted directed from one of my sessions:

    Ask delegates to fold their arms. Once everyone has done so, ask them to fold them the opposite way, so if (for example) the left arm is on the top, swap so the right arm is on the top. Let them sit like that for a minute or two. Then ask:
    – How does this feel? (Uncomfortable)
    – What is your natural instinct? (To fold your arms the ‘normal’ way again!).

    Remind delegates that change is uncomfortable, and people are creatures of habit…they will always want to remain in their comfort zones unless there is a very good reason for stepping out of it. Similarly, change is difficult. People may not intend to be obstructive or resistant, but because they find it hard to adapt, their behaviour is sometimes seen this way.

    Hope these are useful!

  6. Involve action and reflection in the real world
    Hi Derek – you don’t say anything about how much time you have with these managers, nor if they all work in the same organisation.

    I am increasingly of the opinion that many of the concepts, tools and processes that we are often asked to “teach” cannot be separated from the context within which they are to be used. Therefore for me any such training must include the opportunity to apply the “content” to the participants’ real-world situation. This can be all the more effective if it is an ongoing process – “training” followed by action followed by reflection then possibly more training and so on.

    This looks rather like action learning of course. So for example as well as inputs/exercises/activities away from the job, where possible we follow this up with support groups, action learning, coaching and so on. Probably with further off-the-job workshops to look at other aspects of change as the participants’ actions unfold.

    Of course this takes quite a bit of elapsed time – often several months, and is certainly not a quick fix! But I do wonder if the latter have much value other than as entertainment!

  7. More Change Management Thoughts
    Hi Derek

    A couple of thoughts for you. I also run workshops on change and ask delegates to look for the positive in the changing situation. What opportunities might there be? If not in the short term, how could this change enhance my options etc? Looking for the positive in anything and seeking to understand and empathise with what is going on, makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable.

    In addition, as you asked for exercises etc., you might find very useful in this respect.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Annie Lawler

  8. Psychometric testing for change management
    Like you I am in the process of designing material on change management and am wondering if anyone has heard of a psychometric test that could be used to help see if the material has been taken on board. I have run across a few questions that I might be able to put together but am wondering if thanyone had already developed something.

  9. thanks
    Lots of interesting ideas & links.

    Thanks for your ideas/contributions.

    Much appreciated.

  10. Tales from the front

    I just delivered a successful change management workshop yesterday and found the following things

    1. Adopt a half and half approach as in half training and half strategy facilitation. People seemed to take a lot away when we included an action planning element

    2. Concentrate on communication and managing emotions

    3. Talk practical solutions rather than labour the theories

    Hope this helps

    Best wishes



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