Understanding and Leading Change

Understanding and Leading Change

Change as the major aspect of organizational life

Understanding and Leading Change (ULC) prepares participants to meet the problems that come with initiating and implementing change. During the program, participants will examine change processes and the psychological, political, and organizational issues they generate. They will learn to categorize different challenges: evolutionary vs. revolutionary change, technical vs. adaptive change, or anticipatory vs. reactive or crisis change. Using these categories, program participants will identify specific problems for initiators, implementers, and recipients of change.

Vertical Tabs

Target audience

Target audience

Executives concerned with initiating, accompanying, managing, or leading change initiatives.

Key topics

Key topics

  • Understanding the need for change and the challenges accompanying it
  • Archetypes and dynamics of change processes
  • Why change initiatives fail
  • Factors of successful change
  • Dealing with resistance
  • Influencing others to change
  • Individual preferences in change interactions
  • Understanding and leading technical and adaptive change
  • Frameworks and tools for understanding and leading change
Take-home value

Take-home value

Individual key benefits

Participants will return to their organizations with a greater awareness of change processes, typical patterns, and their challenges. After the program, participants will have a deeper understanding of change as a major aspect of organizational life. They will also have frameworks and tools to initiate and successfully implement necessary change.

Organizational benefits

All ESMT programs are practice-oriented. This means that participants profit from the current state of research being applied in business today, research that can be implemented once participants return to their organizations. Furthermore, the programs provide both the participants and their organizations with fresh perspectives and a solid network of global contacts. In addition, each program is an opportunity to promote and retain valuable personnel.

Meet the faculty

Meet the faculty

Ulf Schäfer (Program director)

Program Director, ESMT

Ulf Schäfer is a program director at ESMT. He studied Philosophy, Mathematics, and Logic and Theory of Science in Bonn, Knoxville, and Berkeley, as well as Business Administration in Rotterdam and London (Canada). Ulf was a lecturer of Philosophy at Bonn University, a strategy consultant with A.T. Kearney, a co-founder of the Launch Group, a manager at DaimlerChrysler, and the director and head of Strategy Consulting at Sapient.

Ulf joined ESMT in 2005. His areas of teaching and research focus on leadership, change, and responsible management. He teaches in ESMT's MBA and EMBA degree programs, as well as in the Open Enrollment programs Executive Transition Program (ETP), Leading People and Teams (LPT), Young Leaders Program (YLP), and Understanding and Leading Change (ULC). Ulf has closely worked and taught sessions with numerous companies including Allianz, Bertelsmann, Bosch Siemens, Celtel Nigeria, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Gazprom, Metro, Postbank, RWE, Sanofi Aventis, and TÜV.

Alberto Franichevich

Professor at the Human Behavior Area at IAE

Alberto Franichevich graduated with an Industrial Engineer degree at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1979. His professional career started at Alpargatas, where he worked with the industrial department staff.
For twelve years he worked at The Dow Chemical Company holding different sales and marketing positions in Argentina and Latin America.  He participated in regional and global business management teams and worked out of the Miami office for 4 years.
 His entrepreneurial and independent consulting activity began in1992 when he launched a Kidsports Fitness Club for Kids franchise in Argentina.  In 1994 he founded Innovar S.A., a management and training consulting firm.  Simultaneously he started to develop a license for Wilson Learning, an international consulting company specialized in sales and management.
By 1997 he had joined Quest Worldwide, a UK-based consulting firm specializing in organizational change, as partner/director to develop the brand in Argentina.

Since 2000 he works as a full-time professor of the Human Behavior Area at IAE Business School.  As such he has engaged in teaching activities worldwide, working with global, multinational, and local companies. 


“Change stimulates resistance because it challenges people’s habits, beliefs, and values. It asks them to take a loss, experience uncertainty, and even express disloyalty to people and cultures. It also challenges their sense of competence. No wonder people resist.”

Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky