Insights: Beth Page on navigating change

May 21, 2013

You would be hard pressed to find an organization anywhere that wasn’t navigating change. Whether it is big or small, every business or organization operates in an ever changing reality whether that relates to staffing, physical location or economic situations. When change happens, your employees are going to ask why now and how does it affect me? Until those questions are answered you can expect loss in productivity, says Beth Page, Executive Education associate faculty member and author of Change Happens.

Through her consulting and teaching, she shows people how the 5C model can make transitions easier. After all, good change leadership is good leadership.


Communication speaks to the importance of communicating about change using multiple modes. I ask change leaders to answer one question for themselves each day and that is, “What can I communicate about this change today?” And then communicate it.


Confidentiality emphasizes the importance of honouring an individual’s privacy when they are struggling through the transitions often associated with change. I ask leaders to ensure there are “trusted others” in the organization who can be a sounding board for employees who are struggling with change. Many organizations now have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and/or coaches who can support employees through these transitions.

Cultural compatibility

Cultural compatibility speaks to the importance of the alignment of values and beliefs within the organization. Leaders who can align change initiatives within the culture of their organizations have a great opportunity to create success for their initiative and the people who are involved.


Courtship identifies the importance of maintaining the spirit of invitation throughout the change. Ensuring the change initiative aligns with the strategy of the organization and being able to anticipate and respond to the question, “Why this change now?” helps to get employees on board with change.


Completion identifies the value of acknowledging the milestones that take place as part of change and offer ongoing opportunities for recognition. In our “chronic next” world, too often the rituals of celebration, acknowledgement and recognition get lost in the hectic pace of our organizational lives. Take a moment to stop and celebrate.