How to Execute Complex Transitions Smoothly and Pain-Free: Your 3 Best Options To Align Leaders, Project Management and Change Management

📖 Reading time: 5 mins

The lack of integration between Leadership, Project Management and Change Management causes systemic problems that send projects on the path to failure. You may not know it, but you suffer from the pain:

  • The pain of intransparent management
  • The missing project sponsor
  • The conflict between project and operations
  • The frustrated workforce
  • The higher turnover
  • The slippage in the project schedule
  • The unrealised project benefits
  • and so forth

Putting this concept into perspective is like having back pain without knowing the underlying cause. In this blog, we discuss the broken Leadership, Project Management and Change Management Triangle and explore three options to fix it.


Putting this concept into perspective is like having back pain without knowing the underlying cause. In this blog, we discuss the broken Leadership, Project Management and Change Management Triangle and explore three options to fix it.

The Leadership, Project Management and Change Management Triangle and Why You Should Pay Attention to It

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The internet is full of claims that businesses have a slight chance of succeeding with change and transformations. Whilst changing how people work is definitively complex, much of the bad change happens when we tackle symptoms with Band-Aids rather than addressing the real root causes.

Organisations feel Bad Change through employee frustrations and change fatigue. It's not enough to run a cheer-up campaign to sell the changes. Leaders need to leverage the experience of change managers, and project plans need to acknowledge the nature of change and plan enough contingencies for the transformations. Project delays and unsustainable changes emerge when project managers don't align the project with the broader strategic objectives of the business and fail to plan enough buffer for the nature of change.

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And lastly, stakeholder disengagement and higher turnover occur when change management fails to align the project and business values and interests with the ones of our stakeholders. You see, each side of the LPC triangle needs to be integrated, collaborate and communicate openly to achieve project success.

The 3 best ways to make your transition smooth

Houston, we have a problem! How do we fix it? Here are 3 proven and common ways to address the pain and work towards a smoother change journey.

Hire a Change Manager

A great choice to extend Change Management capacity and tap into change expertise

Tell me more!

Hiring a Change Manager alone may not provide the best value for your budget as it is not a sustainable or scalable solution. Change Managers are limited to 1FTE capacity and often follow unstructured preferences. Make sure your Change Manager implements a framework you can leverage from one project to the next.

Send Managers on Change Management training

Fantastic investment into building more change management skills across your business.

Tell me more!

Change Management Training may be an effective short-term solution, however in reality training is often not translated into long-term workplace skills. Make sure your training provider holds leaders accountable and takes their competing priorities into account.

Implement a Change Capability Framework

Congratulations on believing in long-term solutions!

Tell me more!

We let you in on a secret: With about the same budget as you would need to hire one Change Manager and train 30 people in Change Management you could engage Approach Services to implement a reliable, scalable framework and system for this and all future transformations.

A Quick Fix For When Change Is Going Poorly

This option is most common when Change Management is an afterthought, and the symptoms are becoming bluntly obvious.


Let's go back to the back pain analogy. You are rubbing your lower back, thinking, "I need to go to the pharmacy and get an over-the-counter painkiller to relieve the acute pain". This is like Dan, the Project Manager, picking up our Change Management Templates or Suzy, the HR Manager, organising a Team building session to work on culture and values.


Resources help build and boost your change leadership skills while driving meaningful conversations about change and innovation. Standalone toolkits and team-building games make learning fun and interactive. They promote tested behaviours and techniques that are proven successful during change. They are an excellent way for leaders and project managers to develop self-awareness and improve their change management skills, such as communication, stakeholder engagement, conflict resolution and resistance management.


Templates are good to get started and help fast-track change and project management tasks. This can free up the time for change managers and leaders to concentrate on strategic objectives. It ensures you have the right tools not to overlook critical details and aim for success. By leveraging customisable templates, leaders can align teams effectively and execute sustainable and well-received changes.


Excellent educational resources, like this blog, help leaders and project managers stay on top of trends, best practices, technologies and methodologies. Continuous learning gives teams and you the best chances to improve outcomes.


Approach Services condensed our decades of experience in a range of resources to help Project Managers, Change Managers, and Leaders patch the gap between leadership, project management and change management and improve overall project outcomes.


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There Must be a Better Way To Do Change

When the pain returns, you realise there is more to the story. "There must be a better way", you think as you meet with your Physio.


"Oh yes, take the painkillers, get a back rub and start these exercises at home," she says. Like a physio, targeted training programs can teach you to integrate the triangle more effectively. Our EXCELerate academy, for example, takes each side of the triangle on a learning pathway that leverages the resources and holds them accountable to apply the learned to work.


Project team members, the project sponsors, a senior or middle manager or Anna, the change champion, all need a dedicated pathway to be effective in their roles. Beware of signing up for standard Change Management, Project Management and Leadership Development courses as they don't address the root cause and often lead to little retention or changes in workplace behaviour because they are irrelevant to the individual's role.


At this level, you want to gain a deeper understanding of change done well and develop the skills necessary to integrate the three sides of the LPC triangle. Ultimately, this will lead to more successful change projects, an aligned leadership team, better stakeholder engagement and buy-in, and improved business outcomes.

A Change Framework That Ensures a Healthy LPC Triangle

In recent years, we have seen a third solution make its way into business strategies. You could call this organisational change readiness or a change (capabilities) framework. To create a holistic, scalable and effective change framework, you need experience, design and system thinking.


We are fascinated by the interplay of the LPC and integrating Change Management, Leadership and Project Management. Much of our work focuses on continuous improvement of The 6 Cs Change Approach because, at some point, we want people to Love Change rather than get stressed, frustrated and overwhelmed. Imagine that your friend recommends a team of lifestyle experts to look at your years of back pain with new eyes. They examine your posture, workout routine, and sleeping patterns and recommend a holistic strategy to prevent back pain for good.


What makes the 6 C's approach unique is its ability to leverage the power of the three sides of the LPC triangle and integrate them seamlessly into a dynamic and practical change framework.


When you work through this solution, you will need to answer questions like:

  • How will we co-create a change narrative supporting the business strategy and the entire project portfolio?
  • How will we engage our stakeholders early and effectively to ensure we have no blind spots or delays in adaption?
  • How does the fully integrated project and change plan look that leads to sustained changed behaviours way beyond the project timeline?
  • Are our leaders skilled, supported and ready to lead, sponsor and manage people through change?
  • Are our people equally ready to champion and advocate for change, evolution and growth?
  • Do we utilise effective quality assurance mechanisms and controls to ensure that the organisation and project realise the benefits as intended?

We find it encouraging to see more and more businesses including change readiness and resilience in the capability frameworks, leadership programs and business strategies.

Pain-free Business Change at last

"But wait", you say, "I am too busy, and we are just not good at change."


I know, and we hear that a lot. Let us be your partner on this journey. If you want, we are doing the exercises with you, holding you accountable for the new routines and giving you the Voltaren back rub when things get niggly. This is THE LOT on our menu of choices and one that you cannot find anywhere else. Talk to us about how you can scale your change and project efforts with a deliverable-focussed team of experts in Change Management, Project Management, and Leadership.

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Implementing new technologies, more innovative ways of working, or better processes and procedures can challenge even the most established organisation – with project failure costing billions in loss of reputation, people and productivity. It is good to know what options you have to make a smooth transition smoothly and pain-free.


Eva is one of the masterminds behind Approach Services' blog and The 6 Cents of Change. She is an innovator, trainer and change manager. Her work has been published in the Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her two little boys and permaculture gardening.

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