026 Spark! Leading change with Professor Julie Hodges, Durham University Business School

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In this episode, I talk to Professor Julie Hodges of Durham University Business School about how school leaders can lead and sustain successful organisational change within their institutions. Professor Hodges is a worldwide expert on change in organisations, particularly in the role and impact that people play during transformations.


I start by asking Professor Hodges for her definition of organisational change and about the different types of change, planned and emergent.


We talk about how the global pandemic has driven emergent change within organisations and how some institutions have coped with change better than others. We discuss how the culture of an organisation has an impact on how quickly change can be accepted.


I then ask Professor Hodges about challenges with engaging stakeholders, both staff members and individuals in the community, in change. We discuss her tips for encouraging people to become involved in the decision making process. These include giving people the space to voice their opinions, involving people at all levels of an organisation in discussions on change, giving stakeholders ownership of the changes and being transparent about the practicalities of the change.


Finally, we discuss creating trust within an organisation when implementing sustainable change, and Professor Hodges outlines the five principles of engagement: inclusivity, connectivity, transparency, equity and empathy.


Spark! episodes of The Independent School Podcast are designed spark fresh insights and innovation, by introducing you to ideas from other sectors.


Episode highlights

  • Introducing Professor Julie Hodges (01:15)

  • A definition of organisational change (06:04)

  • Emergent change and why we’re seeing more of it at the moment (08:00)

  • Tips for engaging stakeholders (10:15)

  • Creating trust through the five principles of engagement (20:30)

References and resources

Episode 18: Spark! Innovation with Lucy Gower, Founder, Lucidity


Episode 21: Embed a culture of strategic thinking


Books by Professor Julie Hodges: (explore them all)

‘Sustaining Change in Organizations’

‘Managing and Leading People Through Organizational Change’

‘Consultancy, Organizational Development and Change’

’Employee Engagement for Organizational Change’

‘Organization Development: How Organizations Change and Develop Effectively’

‘Reshaping HR: The Role of HR in Organizational Change’ by Julie Hodges and Mark Crabtree


Rethinking Strategy in Independent Schools research report


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