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Love, Leadership, and Implementation


When implementation comes to an organization, change is inevitable. Even when that change is welcome, needed, and proven to be best for the organization moving forward, adopting the change can be a challenge. Why is change so hard?

Change is uncertainty, and workplaces don’t exist without individuals. Considering this, involving our people in our work helps us humanize the workplace. Our work is challenging, in a state of flux that impacts social and emotional wellbeing. Policies, community demands, health, and welfare of students and staff are constantly shifting. The needs are diverse, leaving leadership with much more responsibility to find harmony in staff needs, inclusion, and motivation. Implementing any initiative or innovation, even something as important as health and safety protocols, means the organization and its people will experience change. When planning an implementation effort, attention to human and learning-centered design elements can support staff through the change. Does your implementation plan intentionally plan for:

  • building an implementation team that includes implementers' voices,

  • seeking out diverse stakeholder opinions and feedback on the innovation and adoption of the innovation,

  • developing meaningful shared leadership structures,

  • embedding improvement cycle processes that include the implementers,

  • working on creating collective efficacy through shared goals, building cohesive implementer knowledge, and embedding reflective practices Hite, Donohoo, 2021

  • using a change theory model to support the implementation effort?

As Covid closes its second year, uncertainty is dominant, and change is inevitable. Leadership can work diligently to use practices that promote self-awareness and encourage learning, civility, and kindness. All contribute to the success of the individual and the organization. Leadership has an opportunity to demonstrate equity and inclusiveness with their staff, promoting love as a value. We know that climate, culture, and context matter in implementation efforts, humans in the system benefit when they feel connected and valued.

As we continue to dance through uncertainty and as agencies and staff seek harmony, remembering impact can influence our current reactions. Often it becomes easy to forget the humanity involved in an organization. We constantly battle with competing commitments of agency goals versus personal goals.

As we enter 2022, here are some tips to keep in mind while putting people first:

  • Establish quality relationships by connecting people with values that align with the organization’s purpose

  • Focus on healthy communication networks to support the flow of information in various ways to all people

  • Create positive experiences by encouraging behaviors, having honest conversations, providing stimulus, and supporting autonomy

  • Alongside direction, offer support and guidance

  • As leaders, be an active part of the community by participating in vocalizing agency platform and goals and eliciting strategies and feedback from staff

Drawing people into the workplace community creates a greater sense of value and purpose. When we put people first, we promote the development of the same individuals who hold our systems together. Try adding human-centered focus to your implementation efforts, and let us know how it goes!

Through this season, let’s not forget the power of the people in the community and working with love.


Together we are better. Let's be kind to each other and support one another through change using human and learning-centered design elements.


Capelli, P., & Keller, J.K. (2014). Talent Management: Conceptual approaches and practical challenges. Annual Review of Organizational and Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1(1), 305-331.

Hite, S. A., & Donohoo, J. (2020). Leading Collective Efficacy: Powerful Stories of Achievement and Equity. Corwin Press. Meinert, D. (2018). Holiday Harmony. HR Magazine, 63(7), 70–75.

Swann, A.(2018). The human workplace: People-centered organizational development. Kogan Page Limited.

Turkel, M. C. (2014). Leading From the Heart: Caring, Love, Peace, and Values Guiding Leadership. Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(2), 172–177.


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