Managing positive change in tough times

In Control has developed practical courses for people leading change in tough times. We will be running introductory one day courses and practical six-day programmes for teams introducing major change. These will be run by our head of operations, Martin Routledge.

Managing major change is always hard - doing it at a time of significant financial pressures is even more challenging. And yet these are also the times when positive change is necessary if organisations are to avoid a descent into simply doing less of the same at poorer quality. Progressive organisations will aim to deliver differently, using the skills and energy of their people and their other resources to avoid reductions in outcomes and quality. There may even be an opportunity to use difficult times as an opportunity to "unfreeze" existing ways of doing things and develop better services and supports.

This is also, however, a time of high risk that the wrong changes are introduced or that change is implemented badly. Precious resources can be wasted and things can even end up worse after the changes have been made with damaging effects on people served and staff goodwill and energy.

It is also a time when managers sometimes say "I can't be spending time considering what works well in delivering change - I've got these changes to make!" This however, is exactly the time to take a thoughtful, evidence-based, planned approach to change.  Given the time and resources that are always involved in planning and delivering major change it is a wise investment to put some of these into systematic analysis and planning as well as action.

Research shows that very often managers use approaches to managing change that are based on models that are not supported by research into what works. This extends even to the delivery of areas of major government policy.

What will these programmes do?

This programme is aimed organisational managers responsible for planning and delivering major change. It will introduce them to an approach which will help them to:

  • Work on the right problems
  • Choose the right methods
  • Plan the change
  • Deliver the change more effectively

Alternative Futures Group (AFG) is the latest organisation to commission a series of workshops from In Control on management of change.

To find out more about how your organisation can manage positive change in tough times, please contact

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Last Updated : 27 February 2014. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.