Authors Preface

The ethos behind this knowledge base (KB):

"...The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see..."

Anon as quoted by Phyllis Marsh 2020

KB is there to help the thinking around your change challenges so that you will come up with better solutions.

The environment that we are now facing is more global, multi-polar, multi-cultural, cross-generational, complicated, uncertain and volatile but less predictable. Part of this is due to the turbulent, discontinuous, accelerating pace of change imposed on today's individuals, organisations and communities. For example,

"...given the rapidly changing world of work - when new is soon old, fast is slow, private is public, focus is fragmenting, loyalty is decreasing, debate has devolved into sound bites and policies have become platitudes..."

Edward Hallowell, 2011

"...The rate of change over the past 20 years has been unstoppable......Governments have lost power, the media has lost power, brands have lost power: power has finally come to the people. All you need now is one piece of material from Cupertine (Californian home of Apple) and YouTube and you have got a worldwide audience..."

Kevin Roberts, Saatchi and Saatchi as quoted in Dominic White, 2013

"...In 1963, you needed permission from newspapers, radio stations and TV channels to reach an audience. Not any more..."

Dominic White, 2013

"...So you're got to be willing to drive the change rather than let the change drive you..."
Mark Scott as quoted by Dominic White, 2015

"...Change can be like a slow train but the force when it hits is still terrifying..."

AFRBoss June 2014

"...while change is never painless, technology means it's inevitable..."

Jordan Condo (Uber) as quoted by Rachel Botsman, 2014

At the same time, it is becoming harder to be successful and sustain success.

"...part of being successful...... is being comfortable with not knowing what's going to happen..."
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube as quoted by Jonathan Mahler, 2015

"...people always attack what they can't understand..."
Deepak Chopra as quoted by Charmian Evans 2019

In fact, change is everywhere! Changes in technology, communication, environment norms, demographics, product lines, services, organisational structures, concepts of management, business frameworks, workplace protocols, marketing, consumerism, etc, demand that all organisations anticipate and respond quickly to a wide variety of new challenges.


(source: Prosci, 2020a)


"...Change management is a core competency..."

Ann Sherry as quoted by Fiona Smith, 2009

"...Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change..."

Stephen Hawking 2019

Yet changing one's behaviour is hard, eg only 1 in 9 people who underwent heart surgery changed their life-style. Yet these people had the ultimate motivation, ie possible death.

Changing other people's behaviour is harder!!!!!! Changing a group's behaviour is even harder!!!!

It is not possible to handle or manage change, it is better to navigate it.


"...change doesn't care much if you like it or not. So really, you don't have a choice. If you and your organisation are going to survive in this new world, you need to have the courage to break out of the old ways of doing things...?

Anders Sorman-Nilsson, 2010

"...History has shown that change only respects those who respect it. Accept and understanding change, and you become better prepared to manage and, at times, capitalise on it..."

Perpetual, 2011

"...Some people are damaged by change because they find it really, really hard to adapt, but some people are quite excited by change. You learn new things, you have to rethink how you do stuff...?

Sandra Levy as quoted by Sally Patten, 2013

"...change can be like a slow train, but the force when it hits is still terrifying...."
Joanne Gray, 2015e

Agility is a word associated with change management, ie people and organisations need to be agile to handle change. Also, you need behavioural plasticity, ie the ability to adapt to an environment.

Outcomes of what happens in the organisation depends on its reaction to what is happening externally. This reaction will depend on its history of how it reacted to similar events, the balance of power inside the organisation, etc

"The outcome" is not historically predetermined but contingent. The exact path of" development during these periods depends on which one of the opposing forces will succeed, which groups will be able to form effective coalitions, and which leaders will be able to structure events to their advantage"

Daron Acemoglu et al, (2012)

Small changes in the initial conditions can make significant impacts on the outcome.

. Need to realise that the greatest flexibility and choice in the change process is at the start. At the beginning of any change process, maximum flexibility on possible ways of implementing the change process is available. As time progresses in the change process, choice is narrowed down

Also, we need to be aware of what will not change, ie

"...I very frequently get to question: What's going to change in the next 10 years? And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: what is not going to change in the next 10 years? And I submit to you that the second question is actually more important of the two - because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that same will be true 10 years from now. They want faster delivery; they want vast selection......when you have something you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it..."

Jeff Bezos as quoted by Bill Gurley, 2015

NB Much of management is psychology, ie reading the situation correctly, such as knowing when to lead, to delegate, to collaborate, to talk, to listen, etc

This publication comprises 5 volumes that cover

i) Background to change (including general background, definitions, trends, ie impacts of neuroscience, social media, project management, etc), characteristics of high-performance organisations, fundamental forces that drive organisational change (motivation & persuasion, evolutionary physiology, human instincts, etc), ROI on a change project, common management errors, reasons why organisational change efforts often fail, limitations of using overseas change management frameworks, 60+ change management frameworks with detailed explanations, case studies)

ii) Seven essential ingredients for an organisational change (can be used to plan, establish, develop, implement, check progress, audit performance, and monitor and evaluate an organisational change)

iii) The change implementation techniques (around 70) for Ingredient 1 (laying the foundation for new ways)

iv) The change implementation techniques (around 70) for Ingredient 2 (creating a sense of urgency)

v) The balance of 240+ change implementation techniques for Ingredients 3 to 7; creativity; customer management; answers to pre-test and case studies; 1,300+ references and acknowledgments, etc.

This knowledge base (KB) uses many quotes to highlight where different information came from and their thoughts, etc that are relevant to change management.

Implementing change involves the alignment of the 

- brain (rational thought, etc) 

heart (emotional thought, etc) 

gut (intuition, experience, professional instinct, etc). 

These 3 need to be aligned for change to occur; if one is not aligned, the implementation of change can be ineffective or hard work. 


In fact these 3 can be expanded to 8, ie Head, Heart, Gut, Eyes, Ears, Hand, Mouth & Feet

These 8 need to be aligned with change to be effective, ie head (conscious thoughts; rational & cognitive thinking; left & right brain thinking), heart (feelings & emotions), gut (visceral feeling, intuition & unconscious thought), eyes (vision & observing), ears (listening), hand (management - direction), mouth (verbalise why, how, what & when) & feet (rest of staff - action, implementation, etc). This is the essential change challenge.

"...we come out on the other side with a new understanding that the world works differently than we had imagined, that we are still safe - and even experience more expansive benefits - doing things we never thought possible before. We discover not only that we can survive, but thrive..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009

i) Head (conscious thoughts; rational & cognitive thinking; left & right brain thinking)

While rational and conscious thought, logical analysis, etc are important, they are not enough, on their own, to make people change. Yet this is where most of the effort is concentrated when going through the change process.

ii) Heart (feelings & emotions)

This can involve tampering with your belief systems, ie challenging assumptions, identity, mindsets, etc.

iii) Gut (visceral feeling like instinct, 'gut feeling", experience, intuition, unconscious thought, etc)

It is the vital source of motivation to change

"...our gut is the source of what moves us - our deepest appetites give us the motivation and energy - to take on adaptive change challenges..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009

Even though the change makes sense, ie there are compelling, logical reasons to support it, this is not enough. We need to have a visceral feeling (desire and want) for the change to be effective, ie to handle the unpleasantness and hardness of changing, the chance of failure, etc. It has to be the feeling that relenting, or giving in, is not a viable option.
You need to have the 'fire in the belly' or 'gut level urgency'

" gut feeling can prepare us to take action either because the cost of the status quo (to ourselves or others) has become intolerably high, or because we have experienced a burst of hope from seeing a way forward that was never clear before. A third source of gut motivation can be the personal experience of deep discrepancy......people feel the need to resolve a glaring gap they see themselves. The gap can be cognitive, affective, and/or behavioural..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009

An example of the power of the unconscious thought is when a radar operator in a US battleship observes a blip on his radar screen that shows something is heading towards the battleship. He does not know if it is friendly or not. He has a couple of seconds to make a decision about how to handle this. He decides to send a missile to destroy it. This turns out to be the right decision as it was an enemy missile. When they analysed his actions afterwards they found that owing to his experience as a radar operator, his  unconscious thought had recognised a subtle difference in sound emitted on the radar detector that identified the object heading towards the battleship as unfriendly.

iv) Eyes (vision, ie see where we are going; observing, etc)

v) Ears (listening, understanding, recording, remembering, etc)

vi) Mouth (words; verbalise why you are changing, what you are changing, how you are changing, when you are changing, etc)

vii) Hand (guidance, know the direction to go, inviting other to join, etc)

viii) Feet (action, doing, movement, behaviours, doing, etc)

The 'hand' is important to management, ie direction; while the 'feet' are important to staff, ie doers

This involves perception, conception and inception.

Success follows from taking intentional, specific actions.

NB An additional one is the 'funny bone' which refers to the importance of keeping your sense of humour during change!!!!!!



The 5 volumes can be summed up by

"...There has to be a dissatisfaction for today, expectation for tomorrow, and help for them to change...?

Vineet Nayar as quoted by Fiona Smith, 2011a

At the same time, remember

"Change cannot be imported like a commodity; nor hatched as a secret plot; nor be like a bullet shot through a barrel of a gun. It is a state of mind, a feeling, a disposition that comes from the staff themselves. It involves changing perceptions, especially of power, and radically rethinking traditional approaches to running an organisation"

adapted by Bill Synnot, 2012 from a quote on representative democracy by Mexican democrat, Francisco Madero, (1873 ? 1913) in John Keane, 2011

It aims to provide a readily-accessible resource for anyone (in particular, practitioners) willing to address the issue of change in the workplace. The content is applicable to large and small enterprises, and is relevant to the private, co-operative, public and not-for-profit sectors, from the local situation to the global context.

While a cover-to-cover reading would reveal a certain amount of overlap and repetition, it is anticipated that most readers will dip into this publication from time to time and will not necessarily follow the sequence presented.

Change Management Masterclass started in 1996 as a workshop with an accompanying reference book; the content has been continually updated, expanded and refined to ensure that this resource remains at the cutting edge of current management and leadership discourse.

It is hoped that all participants find the workshop and the 5 accompanying volumes stimulating and useful in their endeavours to generate positive outcomes from the on-going evolution required by all successful enterprises, and that the package enhances understandings and strategic options.

I can be contacted to discuss any aspect of the Masterclass and volumes:

Bill Synnot

International - (+61) 418 196 707 or fax: (+61) 7 3399 7041

Australia - 0418 196 707 or fax 07 3399 7041 or E mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NB Most professions develop jargon that is only understood by other people in the same professional group. This can be seen as a barrier to entry, because it is hard for outsiders to penetrate the profession or industry. Unfortunately, change management is no exception to this situation!!!! Thus except for commonly-recognised acronyms, such as k (thousands), m (million), b (billion), t (trillion), HBR (Harvard Business Review), AFR (Australian Financial Review), AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute), AIM (Australian Institute of Management), CYA (cover your arse), online (it is delivering something through a website or mobile), digital (is giving customers in-store what they like online), RCL (Real Change Leaders), GFC (global financial crisis), IP (intellectual property), B2B (business to business), SAAS (software as a service) and PC (personal computer) every attempt has been made to keep professional jargon, acronyms, "gobbledegook" and "psychobabble" to a minimum!!!!!!!


As I have drawn on many sources of information and opinion that are in the public arena, I thank and acknowledge the people involved for their thoughts and contribution; all care has been taken to accurately represent and acknowledge others' views, work or research.

In particular, the contributions of Rosie Fitzgerald plus Jeremy, Odile & Xavier Williams were pivotal in the development of the 5 volumes.


Search For Answers

designed by: bluetinweb

We use cookies to provide you with a better service.
By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our policy. I understand