Creating successful, sustainable change | AUA Blog

Sophie Sowerby
Head of Organisation Development | Durham University

The 3 C’s

When working with colleagues across the HE sector, I often hear people say “change is the new normal”. We are working in turbulent times, with an ever increasing pace of change, with less time to establish a new approach before the goal posts move again.

According to Ron Ashkenazy in the Harvard Business Review (2013), 60 to 70% initiatives of change fail. In this context, what can we do to improve our chances of success?

I suggest you consider the following formula:  C+C+C=C2S. If you can answer these questions, you will be in a better position to input successful change.


What is happening in the sector?

What is happening within your organisation?

What is happening within the team you are managing?

What is happening for the individuals in the team?



What is your vision?

What are the obstacles to achieving your vision?

What ideas do you have to overcome these?



Who can you involve in creating the change?

How can you involve them?


Successful and Sustained Change

How will you know you have been successful?

How will you sustain the change?

To explore these concepts further, create your own action plan for change and understand how the AUA Professional Behaviours Framework can support your work, book your place at the Guiding your team through change event.

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