This Core Competency is about being flexible and adaptable to changing environments to work effectively with various people and groups. It involves an open mindset to understand, appreciate and empathize with different and opposing perspectives. It is about having a clear vision for change and communicating this in a way that all people are included and understand what the change means to them. It involves demonstrating a personal commitment to change through actions and words.

Growth Levels

Accepts the need to be flexible

  • Uses a person directed approach that is responsive to the needs and preferences of the person
  • Sees change as an opportunity and demonstrates a willingness to modify ideas or perceptions based on new information or contrary evidence
  • Adjusts behaviour to meet changing demands by choosing to not let things affect them when they do not go as planned
  • Prioritizes responsibilities and responds to immediate needs while reorganizing timelines for less urgent situations
  • Temporarily alters normal procedures or guidelines to fit a specific situation to get a task done and/or meet goals (within acceptable boundaries)
  • Supports change initiatives by following new directions in a positive manner and providing appropriate information
  • Asks for feedback and ideas, and tries new approaches
  • Able to reflect and discuss their own flexibility toward change initiatives, possible barriers and biases in order to move forward

Adapts and adjusts the approach

  • Revises plans as necessary and considers other people’s concerns during change
  • Collaborates with others for creative options when change is needed, encouraging them to be adaptable as well
  • Recognizes how change affects people uniquely, and tailors the message appropriately
  • Acts as a role model in promoting positive attitudes and is able to coach and lead others in being adaptable
  • Explains how change will impact current processes or structures, and reinforces the link to overall values and goals in order to build momentum toward change
  • Gathers and considers the opinions of stakeholders and others, e.g. person(s) supported, family and community groups, and either makes adjustments or helps clarify the importance and rationale for the change (using person centered thinking rather than systems thinking)

Gets buy-in for the change

  • Uses the opportunity as a driver of positive change
  • Translates the vision into specific and practical goals
  • Explains how the change will impact current roles and gathers feedback, recognizing others’ differences, fears or perceptions by encouraging ongoing conversations
  • Reviews and recommends changes
  • Models new behaviours and attitudes, and provides training/support for others to learn new processes, improving the confidence of others to thrive in the new environment
  • Is sensitive with emotional responses and manages expectations of self and others
  • Shares stories or successes to build enthusiasm and commitment to the change process
  • Partners with others outside of the immediate environment, using their understanding of various systems, in the development of the plan
  • Identifies opportunities and sets objectives and standards related to the change initiative
  • Questions and revisits validity of own ideas and approaches, and changes strategy when existing approach proves ineffective
  • Remains open to others’ ideas when larger systems demand alternative options
  • Shares the message to a broad variety of stakeholders, communicating impact and benefits

Changes the direction

  • Monitors internal and external environmental (socio/economic/political) trends and anticipates impact on people, agency, family network, sector or in the community
  • Changes the overall plan or goal (i.e., what one is trying to accomplish) to fit the situation from more systems level thinking
  • Facilitates collaboration and effective communication about the change with external partners and across sectors where appropriate
  • Reviews and approves recommendations considering strategic impact
  • Creates an environment that embraces change, reinforcing the reason for the change by linking it to the overall vision, inspiring others to become champions for the needed change
  • Involves partners, stakeholders and team members in analyzing strengths and weaknesses
  • Develops contingency plans
  • Fosters opportunities for growth and success of others in the new environment
  • Publicly recognizes those who are demonstrating actions consistent with the new model and direction of change
  • Willing to change the organizational strategy/direction to be responsive to changes in the direction of the sector(s) or broader society