Guest Column | September 3, 2019

4 Keys To Leading Through Change

By Liz Bywater, Ph.D.

Liz Bywater 1

From medical device to pharma, aerospace to consumer products, my clients are all dealing with change. Internal and external, large and small, change is a constant drumbeat, and it can bring extraordinary opportunity or profound disruption. So, how do the best leaders exploit the possibilities that change offers and avoid the potential pitfalls?

My most successful clients have learned how to strategically, bravely, and thoughtfully lead their organizations, guide their customers and business partners, and adapt to changing circumstances. Here are four of the ways you can help your organization thrive in times of significant change.

1. Create Clarity. What is the nature, extent, and likely impact of the change at hand? In addressing new circumstances, what is each unit, department, team and individual expected to contribute? What are the new rules of engagement?

2. Provide Context. Why is this happening, and why now? What are the reasons, goals, vision, desired and anticipated outcomes of change?

3. Be Compassionate. The fact is, change can be deeply unsettling. People may fear for their jobs, their families, their futures. Be understanding and available to listen to their concerns. Provide reasonable reassurances. Be thoughtful and patient in listening to concerns.

4. Offer Control. Give your people an opportunity to influence the direction and execution of the organizational response to change. Remember, each time you offer opportunities to impact the process, you enhance support, decrease resistance, retain key talent, and unearth brilliant ideas you might otherwise have missed.

You’ll also enjoy the article CIA: Control, Influence or Accept and Adapt.

If you need some help with acting on these idea get in touch.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Dr. Liz on Leadership. In each article, I will share new innovative ideas, tools and targeted advice to help you excel in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment. Let me know what’s top of mind and I’ll answer your most pressing questions in future columns. Contact me at For additional tools and ideas, visit my website, And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Slow Down to Speed Up: Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World!