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Leading and managing change

Middle managers in social services play a pivotal role as change agents within their organisation. Their influence is both downward and upward. They translate high level strategy and policy decisions into operational systems and procedures and provide feedback for senior managers about the impact of change. They support innovation at grassroots level, identifying new working practices which may be of value across the organisation and making senior management aware of these.

Middle managers therefore need to be able to:

  • understand the wider context for change and identify adaptive changes which enable teams and services to respond to new needs, demands and expectations
  • clearly communicate the rationale for change to staff and inspire commitment to the change process
  • use a range of communication approaches to ensure that all those impacted by the change feel informed and involved in the process
  • identify and be responsive to the impact of change, loss and uncertainty while still ensuring progress in the desired direction
  • sustain personal resilience and openness in the face of anxiety, conflict or hostility
  • tolerate uncertainty and the risk of failure while supporting creativity, innovation and experimentation within teams and services
  • ensure that staff retain a clear focus on people who use services, families and carers while adapting to change and discontinuity
  • provide a range of channels for staff to provide feedback on change
  • communicate proactively with senior managers to identify issues and risks that may be generated by change, particularly where this is likely to have a negative impact on service viability, or on the quality of services provided.

If you can demonstrate what you have learned from this area of the framework and how you have put your learning into practice, you will be able to earn an Open Badge. Find out more here.

Leading and managing change resources

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

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Gloria McLoughlin - Scottish Care

"I think we are going to have to work together, going forward in the current climate. It’s going to have to be about collaboration. And it’s going to be about setting old suspicions aside and working together going forward."

University of Stirling et al. (2010) Leading Together, Dundee, SSSC

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Standards for Childhood Practice
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