Managing Change for Small Businesses

Most small business owners struggle to successfully implement and sustain change in themselves, their team and their business overall. Research shows that 50-70% of change initiatives fall short of achieving the outcomes identified at the beginning of the change effort. Why? Because they focus on trying to manage concrete projects and tasks and underestimate the importance of managing the much messier, more emotional and less rational side of change – the people side. This program equips participants with the fundamental skills and knowledge they need to lead and manage both planned and unexpected change. Regardless of whether they have initiated the business change themselves or have had change forced upon them by external forces, participants will gain valuable skills, knowledge and perspective on the human side of change that will help them more confidently move their team in the direction they want their business to go.

Instructional Objectives:

The following topics will be covered:

Module 1 & 2 – Fundamentals of Change Management & The Kyosei Thrive Model for Change

  • Fundamentals of change management
  • Types of change
  • Key change management research and models
  • Understanding resistance
  • Developing a fertile change culture
  • The barriers to change
  • Key drivers of successful change initiatives
  • Change management roles in a small business
  • Identify change management issues and opportunities
  • Overview of the Kyosei Thrive Model for personal and organizational change

Module 3 – Personal Strategies for Managing Change

  • How to use the Kyosei Thrive Model for assessing change readiness
  • Assessing what stage of change you are in and identifying if it varies in different functional areas
  • Identify personal strategies for thriving during change
  • Developing your personal action plan

Module 4 & 5 – Evaluate Change Impact and Business Readiness

  • Critical success factors for change and how your organization/team stacks up
  • Articulating the change you want to introduce
  • Identifying the purpose and benefits of the change
  • Identify the consequences of not changing
  • Anticipating your employees (and/or customers) relationship with the change (Stakeholder identification and impact assessment)
  • Assessing the change readiness of individuals and teams

Module 6 – Formulate Your Change Management Strategy

  • Understanding your business case for change (knowing what’s at stake)
  • Characteristics of an effective vision
  • Identifying success criteria
  • Clarifying roles and identifying resources
  • Communicating and resourcing your strategy (when time or money is tight)

Module 7 – Develop Your Change Management Plan

  • Project management and change management roles
  • Essential elements of a change management plan
  • Scaling your change management plan to suit the size of your business

Module 8 – Implement Your Plan

  • Methods for communicating the change vision
  • Tools for managing resistance
  • Strategies for involving people in the change effort
  • Adjusting your plan as you go
  • Methods of evaluating success

Module 9 – Sustain the Change

  • Challenges with sustaining change
  • Sustaining vs. amplifying change
  • Change and learning
  • The owner’s role in sustaining change
  • Tools for sustaining change
  • Creating an action plan to sustain and amplify change

Note: Due to time and budget constraints that are experienced by most small business owners, this program is offered at three different levels.

  1. Managing Change Fundamentals (36 hours) Covers all content in the above modules in a condensed format with the emphasis on applying their learning to one specific change initiative they are working on for themselves, their team and/or their business. It is recommended for business owners who have had some success with implementing change but want a better understanding of how to improve and sustain the results they desire from implementing change in their business.
  1. Managing Change Advanced (48 hours) Covers all content in the above modules in a condensed format with an added emphasis on concrete tools for implementing the business change(s) they desire. The Advanced program expands on the knowledge and tools in Modules 7 & 8 with more detailed instruction and assignments to plan and implement change. It is recommended for owners who are considering a moderately difficult change in their business within the next 3-12 months.
  1. Managing Change Intensive (72 hours) Covers all content in the above modules in the most detail and supports participants to apply their learning to a larger change initiative in their business that will required 6-12 months. This program level is recommended for small business owners who are undergoing, desiring or anticipate requiring difficult and/or significant change in their business or who have had numerous failed change efforts and need to ensure that their next change effort is successful.

Measurable Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the training participants will:

  • Create a clear vision of the change(s) they want to create in themselves, their team and their business
  • Understand the stages people go through in dealing with change and transition and the needs associated with these stages
  • Be able to identify what stage their employees are at based on the emotions and behavior they are seeing
  • Identify the specific actions they can take as leaders to help their team learn to thrive during the transition rather than getting stuck in resistance or creating chaos
  • Identify the key leverage points for managing their own stress and enhancing their ability to thrive during the change
  • Clearly articulate a change vision, change management strategy and change management plan for a change initiative they are working on
  • Have tools for implementing and adjusting their change plan
  • Be prepared to sustain and amplify the change once initial change goals are achieved



Assessement Methods:

Our instructors are continuously assessing the student’s comprehension and ability to apply their learning through assignments, case studies, and interactive classroom activities that check for understanding. This is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment as each new skill participants not only learn, but are able to apply in the workplace will have a huge positive impact on the business’s ability to thrive. Unlike structured public courses at colleges and universities that provide more general knowledge and must follow a rigid timeline, our on-site group training format allows our instructors to take the time to ensure that participants are able to take the skills and knowledge they gain in class and apply it to their unique situation to get the results they want in their work and business. We assess the student’s learning and progress using the following methods:

  • Application assignments for in between each training session to apply what was learned in their role in the business. (These assignments are sent in to the instructor in between each session so that the instructor can review them and provide further feedback if the student has not completed the assignment correctly.)
  • Interactive exercises, questions and discussion during the training sessions to ensure that the student understands how to apply the concepts in their role and/or business.
  • Student self-evaluation of their learning at the beginning and end of the program. (This is a brief 5 minute paper survey that the student takes at the beginning and end of each module to provide them with a measure of the knowledge they have gained from the training).
  • (Note: Our instructors are always available via phone and e-mail in-between training sessions should students need assistance with their assignments. This ensures that students are able to complete assignments and be fully prepared to build on their learning in the next session.)