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Leading successfully from the middle in change management

Numerous experts have used the word "leadership" in multiple contexts. The top-down leadership style, however, is the most widely accepted notion of leadership. There is no established position to lead, though, when it comes to leadership. Instead, it depends on the degree of influence that may be used to control outcomes. Sometimes, leading from the middle is the most successful, effective and underappreciated approach.

In today's environment, the top management sets the vision for change, but everyday operations overseen by middle-level leadership enable these decisions to be put into practice. The middle is what makes the idea a reality, so one cannot undervalue this since success requires a grasp of the process from top to bottom. Without the middle level leaders, the idea will fall short of its goals. They are the heart of effective transformation.

Change management

The only constant in life is change. Many businesses have realised this and are aware that in order to prosper and remain competitive, they must adapt and adopt new procedures or novel techniques. Changes in organisational structure, laws and regulations, economic trends, or communication channels are a few examples of these changes.

Taking a series of steps or making a strategy to achieve a new set of objectives is all that is meant by the term "change" in business. Change management, on the other hand, refers to the approach used to guarantee that the change happens.

With the intention of retaining their competitive edge, many businesses have made several attempts to implement change; yet, according to the globally research and advisory firm Gartner, only 50% of these projects have been successful. This is mostly due to the planning and implementation strategies used by businesses when implementing change.

A well-defined change management strategy not only makes the process of initiating change easier, but it also increases the likelihood that the change will be implemented successfully. Change management strategies can be subdivided into three main categories.

  1. Strategies for preparing change – planning the change, considering those involved in change and how they will be involved and communicate the change.

  2. Strategies for executing change – starting from the top, aligning the change with the mission statement and the organisational culture and paying attention to change resistors.

  3. Strategies for sustaining change – adopting a change management model such as Lewin’s Change Management model, Kotter’s model theory, the ADKAR model and Bridge transition model, reviewing and monitoring the performance of change initiatives.

In summary, change is the only constant factor in life and in the business world, so a business's ability to adapt and grow depends on how it can successfully implement change. Whether the intention for change is to hire a new employee, adjust the organisational culture or even update software/technology, it is necessary to prepare for change. Therefore, your middle-tier managers may be your most powerful change agents.

If you or your business is ready for change, our change management solutions will be tailored to help you do so smoothly. Email us at: for a free consultation with our team specialists.


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