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Discussion: Team Building and Addressing Barriers to Planned Change


Planning and implementing change can be quite challenging, especially in a complex health care environment. No matter what kind of change is undertaken, there are likely to be some obstacles. Yet, wise leader-managers, and those with whom they work, recognize that change is necessary and revitalizing; they see that planned change can not only contribute to organizational sustainability but also promote high-quality care and positively impact patient outcomes. These leader-managers harness a larger vision and engage in forethought and analysis to minimize and address barriers to planned change.


Based on what you have learned about the change process and strategic planning, what barriers do you think may arise related to the change you are proposing through your Course Project? How would you cultivate stakeholder involvement and promote team building for your planned change?


As you think about these questions, consider the following statement: “The system will evolve based on changes in the behavior of the people in the system” (Nesse, Kutcher, Wood, & Rummans, 2010, p. 27).

Do you agree? Why or why not? How does this relate to the specifics of your strategic plan?


To prepare:


Review the information presented in the Learning Resources, including Dr. Carol Huston’s comments on addressing barriers to implementing a strategic plan change. Consider insights related to change theory, common barriers to change, and strategies for addressing these barriers that relate to the implementation of your proposed change.

Identify specific barriers you are likely to encounter with your proposed change, including resistance to change. Evaluate strategies that may be used to minimize or address these barriers.

Think about the value of stakeholder involvement in planned change, as well as the specifics of stakeholder participation in your strategic plan to champion the change. Who should be involved in strategic planning and at what point? How could they serve as change champions?


Post an explanation of strategies you would use to minimize or address barriers, including resistance to change, related to your strategic plan. Explain how you would promote stakeholder involvement for your proposed change, and encourage them to become change champions.


Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

Provide feedback on their strategies for addressing barriers to change.

Suggest additional strategies for addressing barriers or resistance.

Offer additional insights for identifying appropriate stakeholders.

Suggest additional stakeholders or change champions to be involved.


Required Readings

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Chapter 8, “Planned Change” (pp. 162–180)


(Note: You may have read this in a previous course.)

Sare, M. V., & Ogilvie, L. (2010). Strategic planning for nurses: Change management in health care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Review Chapter 7, “The Three Key Elements of the Strategic Planning Process: A Vision That Guides Nursing’s Future Action”

“The Architect, Change Agent, and Communicator: Three Crucial Roles in Strategic Planning” section (pp. 135–136)


Chapter 9, “Understanding Change Theory: Strategic Planning Change Agents” (pp. 171–194)


Chapter 10, “Communicating the Strategic Plan” (pp. 195–212)


Chapter 11, “Eight Cautionary Tales of Strategic Planning” (pp. 215–226)


Chapter 9 examines change theories and how these theories can be applied in strategic planning. Chapter 10 explores the importance of communication throughout the strategic planning process and how strong communication and reduce barriers to change. Chapter 11 provides examples from the field of strategic planning efforts.

Gerrish, K., McDonnell, A., Nolan, M., Guillaume, L., Kirshbaum, M., & Tod, A. (2011). The role of advanced practice nurses in knowledge brokering as a means of promoting evidence-based practice among clinical nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(9), 2004–2014.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article describes some of the barriers to change (in this case, implementing evidence-based practices) that nurses encounter and examines knowledge brokering to facilitate change.

McMurray, A., Chaboyer W., Wallis, M., & Fetherston, C. (2010). Implementing bedside handover: Strategies for change management. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(17/18), 2580–2589.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article examines a change in nursing handover practices to analyze change management with attention to individuals’ attitudes, motivations, and concerns. See Figure 2 for example of unfreezing, moving, and freezing.

Nesse, R. E., Kutcher, G., Wood, D., & Rummans, T. (2010). Framing change for high-value healthcare systems. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 32(1), 23–28.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


The authors address factors that impede change and discuss change management principles, including the value of team investment for facilitating change.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Challenges of implementation [Video file]. Retrieved from


Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.


Dr. Carol Huston discusses some of the challenges faced when implementing a strategic plan and strategies for addressing those challenges.

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