When it comes to change, many managers focus on creating a vision:

A vision as an end picture inviting the organization to move from good to great.

That’s super. However, a vision ALONE is not enough.

You know this because you’ve diligently created a vision, communicated this vision,

… and you still haven’t gotten the results you wanted.

I know this because clients who just started working with me have shared this story over and over again.

A vision alone is not enough.

And I know this because I’ve been there myself.

Things changed for me about 15 years ago.

While still working as an interim manager I combined, in an unconventional way, novel leadership principles with a strong vision.

Changes became visible and did they happen fast!

My more conventional colleagues were baffled by it at that time.

But I saw that it worked.

So much so, that people started asking, “How do you do that?’

And over the years sharing those same principles with my clients as part of the Leading Change Blueprint Program significantly improved their organizations.

Now I’m sharing some of those principles with you.

I’ll share with you one principle for each phase of a change process:


Phase 1 – The PRE-change Phase

See if this seems to be true:

if you and your managers make a list of all the changes you would like to implement, the outcome will be a long, long list.

I’ve been in many management meetings in which the list of things to tackle grew by the minute.

Not the way to go.

Just too much. You and your team then sign up for mediocrity: a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Results: a little bit of change of everything.

The pre-phase of change is about becoming clear: what change will have the biggest impact on your organization? What change will be the biggest step forward to your vision?

Principle One:

Get Clear.

Ask yourself:

“What Change Will Have The Biggest Impact?”


Phase 2 – the ENROLLment phase

So now that you’re showing up 1) with a CLEAR vision, and 2) a change FOCUS, you’re 3) ready to ENROLL.

One of the biggest mistakes that managers make is loading it all upon their own shoulders.

Of course as the leader you lead by example and some tasks are definitely yours like creating that vision and the focus. But certain tasks are not yours or not only yours. So, spread and enroll.

To do so, create your change leaders throughout the organization. These are the people who embrace change and are supporters of your desired change.

These people can be your managers. But if you have a manager who is more of the “Let’s not change, what’s not broken”- type then don’t focus your time and energy on such a person. That manager is not your change leader. And by the way, this doesn’t make them a bad manager or a bad employee.


Principle 2:

Spread. Create change ownership.


Phase 3. – The End Sprint phase

So often, there’s so much invested in the beginning of a change process that the end phase gets shortchanged.

Another principle of a successful change is that you increase your efforts in the last phase. You sprint at the end.

And to stay with the analogy of running: remember the mile at what most people quit a marathon. That’s not during the first 10 miles. No, it’s when the runners feel that they have come far, feel exhausted, and still have far to go.

It’s the twentieth mile marker.

So, don’t do what I’ve seen over and over again:


– Don’t budget enough to finish the change;

– Lose sight of their vision;

– Give in to voices like “It’s going way too slow” etc.


Don’t drop the ball at the last stage of your change process. Keep going even if you’re tempted to start something new or give up.

Principle 3:

Increase your efforts the last miles of change.


If you would be asked to mention three principles for a change process, which principles would you mention? Please mention those below.