Path To Performance

Tips for Managing Change

A group of health care workers meeting around a low table

If you're improving, that means you are changing. And change is hard. Use these tips to ease the journey on the path. 

Improving means changing, and that's not always easy

All improvement requires making change — and change can be difficult. These practices are culled from Kaiser Permanente’s Organizational Effectiveness consultants and from unit-based teams that have moved through change successfully, developing new processes, transitioning to new leadership, etc. These tips are meant to support UBT co-leads and team members as they manage change — and the resistance that often comes with it.

For unit-based team co-leads and sponsors: Identify and manage resistance

  • Clearly communicate reasons for the change.
  • Make it safe to voice concerns throughout the change process.
  • Identify team members mostly likely to resist the change and give them key roles.
  • Involve naysayers as early and as often as possible to minimize grumbling.

For all UBT members: Assess the effects of the change and enlist support

  • Develop a common understanding of the change, getting everyone’s point of view:  Ask, "What’s being done now and what will be done differently?"
  • Engage everyone affected, including physicians, members of other departments and your team sponsor.
  • Identify specific enablers and barriers to implementation — areas that will require greater attention.
  • Allow team members to identify solutions and make decisions that affect them most.

Celebrate short-term successes — and acknowledge failures

  • After each test of change, recognize and reward contributing team members at huddles and meetings. Use these small wins to increase credibility and keep the momentum going.
  • Accept failures — and talk about what can be learned from them.


Challenge/Strength - ColorDownload the Tip Sheet

Want a colorful tip sheet with these ideas to hand out and post on bulletin boards? Download one here!


17 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? YesNo