It’s a reassuring thing when someone’s credentials leave nothing to be desired. So is the case with author Erika Andersen’s new nonfiction book, simply titled Change From The Inside Out: Making You, Your Team, and Your Organization Change-Capable. The title, like that of an MLA or position paper, encapsulates the entirety of what Andersen subsequently covers within the book’s pages. The corporate philosophy regarding the institution of successful change within one’s enterprise is an ambassador to Andersen’s own business endeavor.


She’s the founding partner of the coaching and consulting firm Proteus International, and has been involved within advisory and consulting roles with entities a la Amazon, the Yale School of Public Health, and Spotify. Andersen writes Change From The Inside Out with an affable, unpretentious demeanor. There’s never a sense she’s lording a sort of informed superiority over her readers. Rather, it’s just the opposite. She spells out potentially dense and dicey conceptual analyses in a manner that is simple, bell-clear, and concise. “A few decades ago, being part of an organizational redesign was a fairly uncommon phenomenon that we as employees had to suffer through,” she says. “Now, there are changes big and small happening to us and around us on an almost daily basis: changes in who we report to, how our work gets done, what our jobs entail, and—more fundamentally—changes in who owns our company, what our mission is, what are the services or products we produce, who the customer is and what they expect from us.”


She uses this articulation to introduce the specified steps to what she claims will ensure systemic, organizational change. Andersen christens this the ‘Five-Step Change Model’. The steps consist of: 1) Clarify the Change and Why It’s Needed, 2) Envision the Future State, 3) Build the Change, 4) Lead the Transition, and 5) Keep the Change Going. “Understanding this is critical for those of us who aspire to be good at leading change,” Andersen asserts. “Too often, leaders don’t recognize the fact that everyone has to move through their own arc of change at their own pace. Failure to acknowledge this can create all kinds of unhappiness and stress in the system; it can actively impede change.”


She goes on to state, “Leaders need to understand that every person newly introduced to the change is going to have to start at proposed change and go through the whole change arc for themselves—no matter where the larger organization is in the change model. If someone first hears about the change in Step 4, when you’re leading the transition, they will still have to go through their own evolution of proposed change, mindset shift, and new behaviors before they can be part of change occurs (the successful completion of Step 5). Knowing this one fact about how change works can help you manage your self-talk so you’ll be much less likely to be impatient or negative toward others who are at an earlier stage of their own change arc.”

Cyrus Rhodes