DEBORAH Rowland
Author, Executive, Consultant, Speaker

Pioneering Authority

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Pioneering Authority

Leading change can be a very ‘fluffy’ field in which multiple practitioners and advisors have their own preferred theories and models. I wish to create and work with change leadership frameworks that are both rigorously grounded in empirical research and highly relevant to real-world practice.

Together with a super team of research colleagues, in the last two decades I have led two major studies into the successful leadership of change that have generated breakthrough thinking in the field and global attention. I now work with two key concepts that my research shows bring the highest leverage and deepest movement when tackling big complex change.

First, your overall approach to change: how you do change fundamentally determines where you end up. Most leaders I work with do not realise that change can be approached in different ways, and tend to launch and implement change in ways that are linear and programmatic and that assume change can be controlled. My research  - and personal leadership experience - has shown that these approaches to change do not work. What brings true transformation are more emergent change approaches that assume complexity, whole system engagement and non-linearity. I can map that pathway with you.

Second, your personal leadership practice – the skills you need to lead a change trajectory well. Here I have discovered an important insight. How you need to be as a leader- the quality of your inner state - is as, if not more important, than what you need to do as a leader – your exhibited behaviours. If you are not in the right place personally, you will not be able to handle the difficulty and challenge of leading major change. You might be busily acting, but not still moving. How you combine your inner and outer game as a leader is central to your success.

What others say:

‘As an author, educator and practitioner, Deborah is able to translate into practicable strategies the seven decades of research, knowledge and experience in leading change that we now have in the field. People really value her for this rare capacity to “know what to do” – to be, at once, theory-grounded and also pragmatic. She shows the way to others with generosity, and she inspires them to make a difference in their own organisations.’

Executive Director