Is there a difference between change leadership and change management? My answer is a resounding “Yes!” Change intelligence (CQ) is about diagnosing and developing your capacity to lead change—in other words, it’s about change leadership. Change management, on the other hand, is a set of techniques that you, the change leader, can apply to a change process. As change leaders, we pick and choose the change management approaches and techniques to bring to bear on a change situation. CQ will help you as a change leader identify which change management tools you tend to gravitate toward based on your style—and which you may tend to overuse or, conversely, overlook.

The change management tools you select should be based on not only your personal leadership style but also the phase of the “change lifecycle” your team is in. From the early 1900s when Kurt Lewin introduced his unfreezing-moving-refreezing description of the change process, many models have been offered to help us understand this change lifecycle. Most are variations on a similar theme. First you plan, then you do, then you sustain. Then, you start planning the next change. This list offers the major activities that occur at each stage in the change lifecycle.


• Create vision

• Determine readiness

• Craft plan



• Communicate

• Train

• Modify processes


• Adapt systems

• Ensure integration

• Examine lessons learned

Change leaders have a variety of tools at their disposal, any of which they can bring to bear during the stages of the change lifecycle. If you stay mindful of the combination of your change leader style and the dynamics of the various stages, you’ll be able to select the tools to help you meet critical change challenges, especially those you may be apt to overlook, downplay, or avoid. For a full list of the best tools to the various types of change leaders can use in the different phases of the change lifecycle, check out chapter 14 of Change Intelligence.

Share This