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Macquarie University

Leading transformations: Manage change

Macquarie University via Coursera


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We live in a globalised world of continuous change. Your ability to successfully manage change will allow you to have a positive impact on your work and your life. Via structured learning activities (video lectures, quizzes, discussion prompts and written assessment) this course will teach you how to effectively influence change by developing a ‘change mindset’, creating a productive change cycle, and leading yourself and others on the change journey. You will learn how to re-imagine change by redefining the change problem and developing a balanced and reflective change mindset. Change is inevitable but you can influence how it affects your organisation.


  • Re-imagining change 1: The change problem
    • ‘We can’t solve a problem with the same type of thinking that we used in creating it.’ –– Albert Einstein Einstein was onto something! Traditional approaches to change management try to solve the problem of change by using the same tools that created the problem in the first place. They provide you with designs to implement designs and strategies for executing strategies. This week you will discover the importance of stepping outside the box of conventional change management, colour in the white spaces in the organisation chart, and navigate the messy and choppy waters of the change journey. You will critically analyse the nature and origins of the failure rate of change initiatives, examine how and why modern organisations systematically mislead change and learn what an alternative approach involves.
  • Re-imagining change 2: Icebergs & death valleys
    • ‘Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.’ –– W.B.Yeats. You already have the knowledge necessary to manage change in your head, your heart and your hands. This knowledge is embedded in the cultural images and counter-images of what managing change involves. This week will help you appreciate the degree to which this is the case and get out of your own way in applying what, in a sense, you already know.
  • Creating a change cycle 1: Maps & orientation
    • ‘The Map is not the territory.’ –– Alfred Korzybski. If change is a journey, what type of journey is it? And what do we need to guide us along the way? This week will provide you with the tools necessary to map out the path you need to take and revise this map along the way. You will learn how to apply the three key mapping tools: ‘gap analysis’; ‘forcefield analysis’ and ‘route analysis’. In combination, these three provide you with a GPS for navigating the complex and often treacherous journey of change.
  • Creating a change cycle 2: Masks & performance
    • ‘All the world’s a stage, and we are but players on it.’ –– William Shakespeare. Knowing what to do to manage change is one thing. Knowing how to do it is another. While the route map outlines what you need to do, you have to decide how to do it, in context and with other people. How change plans are executed is always a performance, the artful exercise of influence in time, in space and in conditions that are often not of our choosing. This week you will discover the performances you will have to give, the masks you will be required to wear, the tensions and dilemmas you will encounter, and why influencing yourself is central to your ability to influence others.
  • Creating a change cycle 3: Mirrors & reflection
    • ‘Life is lived forwards but understood backwards.’ –– Soren Kierkegaard. Leaders of change initiatives are not only faced with known unknowns but also unknown unknowns. Uncertainty is endemic, complexity is unavoidable, and denial is widespread. In such contexts, how do you evaluate your progress, and adjust your course, before it is too late? How do you create early warning signals? This week you will discover the value of experimentation and evaluation, examine and critically analyse methods for monitoring intellectual, emotional and practical capabilities and progress (the head, hand and heart), and learn how to create effective and practical learning spaces within change initiatives.
  • Leading change: Mindful & mobilising
    • ‘There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.’ –– Leonard Cohen. While the principles underlying the change cycle are widely recognised, they are often not applied and put in place. There is never enough knowledge and never enough resources to do what individuals and organisations know needs to be done. This week you will explore the leadership, practice, and power gaps that underlie these problems, and discover and examine how leaders mind these gaps and mobilise energy and resources to overcome them.

Taught by

Professor Richard Badham and Brenda Santiago


4.5 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 1428 ratings

Start your review of Leading transformations: Manage change

  • A professionally prepared course with quite solid informative value. Interesting, sometimes inspiring.
  • Susana Purificacion
    Change is something inevitable. Changing for the better personally and professionally is something that would be beneficial not only for oneself but also for others. It would also bring about a good impact to an organization and could help boost the employee morale. Through this course, it helped me realize that it is important to be able to redefine a problem and to develop a balanced and reflective mindset, which proves to be one of the most important things to be successful not only as a person but as a professional.

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