Think of your own experiences. Did a powerful person ever ask you to suddenly change your behavior? Where something that you are good at or like suddenly lost its importance? Have you approached the new openly, or did a feeling of powerlessness, anger or frustration take a hold of you?

Many people want to experience and learn something new – as long as they can determine it themselves. Third-party determination often produces resistance – sometimes open, often concealed.

The magic word is co-creation. This does not mean that everyone should have a say in everything. Without leadership and clear top-down responsibility, organizations are incapable of action. The direction of change is usually to be set from above. But it is practiced and implemented by the employees. This is why you should listen to what the people at the base think, believe or feel. We are all more willing to change if we can participate in creating something new. Only once it is clear where the path leads, all employees can contribute their expectations, experiences and competences.

Change professionals provide their managers with three messages:

  1. What’s the goal and how can it be measured?
  2. What’s the framework in which the change is supposed to happen? What restrictions are there and where do we expect independent action?
  3. According to which maximum of three rules/principles should changes be managed within this framework?


  1. Invite 20 to 30 employees from all hierarchical levels to a two-day cross-level workshop and collect ideas, concerns and tips to successfully implement your change project.
  2. Set the strategic and structural framework for pending changes. Define unchangeable goals and milestones and pass on the detailed design to all those affected.
  3. Include the works council in due time: use their informal power and invite them to help shape the content. Don’t see them as your opponents in negotiations but as competent co-creators for tasks related to content.