How we approach change is dependent on the mindset that we bring to it, and Jake Jacob’s mindset has always been that it can be faster and easier and deliver better results if we think about it in ways that are different from most change management methodologies. Through his decades of providing support and guidance to large-scale change, Jake has identified 8 “change levers” or smart strategic actions that when applied correctly can accelerate the execution of change, make it easier to move through, and deliver greater levels of success. In this podcast, Jake and Managing Editor Brian Gorman discuss Jake’s overall approach to change as well as specific change levers that he applies to the changes he works on.

Listen and get Jake Jacobs answers to questions such as:

  • As your book title states, in it you address 8 change levers that you say can help to achieve faster, easier, better results. Would you briefly name and describe each of these?
  • Before you dive into the levers, you identify four elements: the levers themselves, the resources that are allocated, the pivot point, and making sure you are moving the right heavy object. We’re going to dig into a few of the levers in a moment, but before we do, would you help our listeners understand what you mean by the pivot point and “moving the right heavy object?”
  • As covid-driven uncertainty combines with the great resignation, your first lever takes on greater-than-usual meaning for organizations: Pay Attention to Continuity. Tell us more about this lever and how it is applied in the context of disruptive environments.
  • “Think and Act as if the Future Were Now!” Would you explain why this is important, as well as when and how to apply this lever?
  • Your lever “Start with Impact, Follow the Energy” defies the change management norm of change starting at the top and cascading through the organization. What does it take to apply this lever?
  • You tackle the focus of many change practitioners, challenging the attention given to “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). What is the lever that makes WIIFM an unnecessary focus?

About Jake Jacobs:

Robert W. “Jake” Jacobs has been curious about why some organizations work and others don’t since his first job on the assembly line of an ice cream factory making bomb pops and push-up bars. As a pioneer in the field of large group interventions, Jake discovered better ways for people and organizations to change. He has supported major change efforts with corporations including Corning, Ford, Marriott, and TJMaxx, as well as with the City of New York, the US Forest Service, The US Environmental Protection Agency, and the United Kingdom’s National Health and Employment Services. The Illumination Project, of which he is the founder and CEO, has created unique opportunities for some of the most important work in his career: further strengthening citizen-police relationships with trust and legitimacy.

Jake is an adjunct faculty member in Notre Dame’s Executive Education Program and has taught in numerous other educational venues. His most recent book is Leverage Change: 8 Ways to Achieve Faster, Easier, Better Results. Jake can be reached at

New episodes of the Change Management Review™ Podcast are announced in the Change Management Weekly, our digest of actionable insights for change delivered to your Inbox every Tuesday. To claim your free subscription, click here:

Share With Your Colleagues