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Many change efforts do not succeed. In fact, most are doomed to fail according to psychologist John Kotter, and largely because of the human factor.

At AGL we don’t share quite this level of pessimism. We do, however, recognise how hard change can be, and how important it is, in a world (and in markets) that don’t stand still.

So how can those who are leading change efforts use communication to ensure the success of a transformation programme?

We believe the answer lies in a leader’s ability to inspire people with ownership of new ways of doing things. This relies on three key elements and the links between them:


A clear narrative frames the bigger picture, sets expectations, and establishes broad principles of behaviour that echo the values of the population.


People need to know that the expectations directly apply to them, and also that successful change will benefit them.


People also need to have a good sense of what the right behaviour actually looks like and that they can do it without impediment.

The AGL ownership model

For behaviour change programmes to be successful, the population need to be emotionally involved and personally committed – and that requires communication.

Our work in this area is anchored by the evidence-based model below. This tells us that for change to work, you need a plan and a narrative, and you need people with the confidence, words and skills required to put it into action.

Six steps towards change

These six steps describe how best to introduce change or respond to change by generating deep feelings of ownership amongst your stakeholders.

  1. Set direction by establishing the ground you need to cover then assessing the gap between where you are now and where you need to get to
  2. Engage influencers. In any group of people, there are always individuals who others listen to. Engage them early on and give them a clear role.
  3. Experiment. Engage action research groups to test different ways to achieve objectives – building support and generating valuable insights as you firm up decisions.
  4. Equip people to go through change by giving them the skills, knowledge, resources, confidence and motivation they will need to get it right as quickly as possible.
  5. Launch the change with clear multi-channel communication, an effective feedback loop and assurance that people’s voices will be heard.
  6. Celebrate and storify. Individuals and teams must be recognised for great work, while behavioural “near misses” are noted and understood as a source of learning.


We can help you to develop powerful content, identify the best messengers, and reach the right audiences across your business with a clear, consistent and compelling message.

What our clients say?

"This is the most valuable training I have ever received and I think it will stay with me for the rest of my life and where ever possible I am trying to pay it forward."

Senior leader in a media business
“I've grown in confidence as a result of this experience and now feel able to deliver messages authentically.”
Senior M&A banker
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