At the heart of change is the willingness to learn, and at the core of such change are the people involved. Change, whether welcomed or challenged, isn’t always easy, but it can be exciting.

Many of our clients are currently leading change and digital transformation within their organisations. To discuss their experiences and challenges, our recent #LeadersInChange breakfast brought together a diverse group of leaders currently experiencing change within their organisations and teams. To lead the discussion, we invited Executive Leadership Coach, Julia Whitney of Whitney & Associates, and Founder of Cursive Consulting, Andrew Rolf – both of whom have led large corporations through significant change.

The human impact of change can either be positive or negative, and change within organisations and teams, and on individuals can have lasting effects. Before addressing and implementing change, Julia kicked off our general discussion with the SCARF model of human motivation:

Status: In relation to one’s position to others in their group – peers, colleagues, managers, friends, and associates.

Certainty: A sense of assurance. Change creates uncertainty and, and thus is often perceived as a threat.

Autonomy: The ability to make choices, from planning their day or managing their workload, to taking control of their personal and professional destiny.

Relatedness: The quality of relationships and interactions with others – team members, managers, and directors across all levels.

Fairness: The perception of being treated fairly.

Change affects each of these five factors and either impacts human motivation positively or negatively. From this introduction, two popular topics of interest emerged: New People and Culture (Team Blends), and Entrenched Resistance. As Julia and Andrew noted, these are topics that can take hours and days to discuss, however in our one-hour timeframe, our group unearthed a few valuable and insightful titbits.

New People and Culture (Team Blends)

The Challenge: How to welcome new hires and integrate them within existing teams, and on the flip side, how to retain talent when new hires come on board.


  • Share top-level business goals to illustrate how each individual/team contributes to the company’s overall objectives
  • Develop shared goals amongst relevant stakeholders to promote cross-functional teamwork
  • Outline job parameters of new and existing team members prior to implementing change
  • Host icebreaker/Show & Tell sessions for new and existing employees to put faces to names

Entrenched Resistance

The Challenge: How to overcome organisational structures and processes that are and have been firmly manifested within the business.


  • Identify organisational strengths (the areas the business does well) to transition over
  • Frame work and change as a learning opportunity for all
  • Acknowledge your own fallibility
  • Leaders leading by example and getting their hands dirty
  • Run team workshops for the business to build excitement and promote inclusion
  • Promote curiosity from within

Change tactics and solutions vary across industries, however the above takeaways are a great starting point for further discussion. Join the conversation by getting in touch with any questions related to change and transformation at and stay tuned for our next event!


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