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Elevate your performance and career with courses designed for the real world

Thriving on Change

Learn to navigate and lead change in the workplace

Thriving on Change is a comprehensive two-day workshop to equip you with the skills to navigating and leading change in the workplace and thrive upon it. Take this course to help better identify the improvements that can be brought about by change, build engagement and minimize distrust.


Participant Perspective: Moira

Core Objectives

  • To explore ways of building resilience and adaptability by appealing to both our rational and emotional reactions to change
  • To engage team members by helping them make tangible progress toward meaningful goals
  • To develop a framework to build trust within the unit (and between units) and minimize distrust
  • To explore the various frames that individuals use to analyze and act on organizational issues – including change - and use these frames to deal with differences with others

What You Will Learn

Session 1: Understanding Change/Optimizing Change
While most of us would agree that change is inevitable, most of us would nonetheless also agree that we don't always embrace it willingly. In this morning workshop, we will explore the need to help ourselves adapt to change by appealing to both our "rational" response to change (that part of us that sees opportunity and promise), and our emotional response (which explains why we can so easily become discouraged, but also offers opportunities for building positive emotional reactions to change). Over the course of the morning, we will:

  • Learn to identify the specific behaviours that can lead to positive change, and to tell a compelling "big story" about why change is necessary
  • Begin to build a growth mindset around change, to encourage team members to believe in their own ability to adapt and flourish
  • Explore opportunities to encourage habits that encourage healthy new approaches to dealing with the change


Session 2: Building Engagement in the Midst of Change
While dramatic change can invite paralysis and frustration, we know that peoples' best days at work are those days in which they feel that they are making progress (even if small progress) towards meaningful goals. Drawing on this idea, we will use this afternoon session to explore opportunities for newly formed teams to make, and celebrate, progress, and look at the conditions necessary to make this happen. Specific outcomes include:

  • To identify the relationship between progress and engagement
  • To recognize the catalysts that drive progress, and the obstacles that impede it
  • To explore ways of supporting team members in their work, and the importance of providing support for both the work and the person when designing effective change initiatives.


Session 3: Understanding and Dealing with our Differences (using-organizational-frames)
As members of and leaders in organizations we are faced with countless situations on a daily basis in our organizations that require us to quickly make sense of what is happening, analyze the situation quickly and correctly, and decide on a course of action. Often, we are surprised to see that our colleagues (peers, direct reports, supervisors) seem to have a very different take on the situations that drive their reactions and recommendations. Furthermore, their perspectives appear to permeate all their decisions and actions across a range of organizational issues – from communications, motivating others and managing change to evaluating direct reports and strategic planning. In this session, we will explore the "frames" that we all use (often without being aware of it) to make sense of the world around us in the organization.

  • To identify the different frames that are used by self and others when trying to make sense of complex situations and decisions
  • To recognize the implications of these frames on a range of group and organizational issues that are relevant to performance
  • To use frames to persuade and influence others in the decision making process


Session 4: Fostering Trust in the Workplace
Trust is the soft but vital foundation on which an organization's functioning rests and it constitutes the most cost-effective control system ever devised. Whether it is establishing new relationships, working with multiple parties with diverging perspectives, strengthening existing networks, initiating change or implementing a strategy, trust is a critical ingredient for operational and organizational success. The primary objectives of this session are:

  • To explore and understand the dynamics of trust in interpersonal and organizational relationships
    • What is trust?
    • Why do we trust? (Importance of trust)
    • Whom do we trust? (Components of trustworthiness)
    • How do we trust? (Dynamics and types of trust)
  • To identify a set of trust building strategies for managing relationships and enhancing networks Strategies for Building Trust Erosion of Trust Repairing Broken Trust

In this session, the most recent developments in trust research are discussed and tools for building trust in work/professional relationships are explored. Given the complexities surrounding the concept of trust, the session revolves around understanding the meaning and nature of trust, the importance of trust in organizations and relationships (the benefits of trust), the dynamics of trust (different forms and levels of trust), and the building of trust (trust-building strategies, managing distrust, repairing damaged trust).

Who Should Attend

  • managers and project managers
  • corporate department heads
  • executives
  • systems, manufacturing and operations personnel
  • engineering professionals
  • technology managers
  • research managers
  • event managers
  • business analysts
  • team leaders
  • Small/medium-business owners

Fees and cancellations

Course tuition for the Thriving on Change course includes:

  • lunch and refreshments
  • course materials

$1254.75 ($1195 plus G.S.T. including refreshments, lunch and all course materials).

Team Savings:

  • Save 10% per registrant with a group registration: 3 or more people from the same organisation registering at the same time.
  • Seating is limited so register today! Please fill out the online registration form and select 10% group discount as the payment option.

*Discounts cannot be combined with any other discount or special offer.

A full refund can be issued for written cancellations received a minimum of 21 days before the program start date. Cancellations received with less than 21 days notice will be refunded less a $200 administration fee.


Dr. Vivien Corwin
Assistant Teaching Professor; Senior Instructor; Service Management

Vivien teaches organizational behaviour and human resources, with a particular emphasis on hospitality and services management. Prior to joining UVic in 2006, she taught at Royal Roads University, where she also served as MBA Program Director, and at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario. Dr. Corwin has also worked as an Organizational Development Consultant for BC Gas, where she was primarily responsible for corporate-wide leadership development, and where she worked closely with managers to identify problem areas and implement team-driven solutions.

Dr. Corwin's research interests include human resources and leadership in the context of services management, organizational culture and leadership, and alternative work relationships. Her research has been published in Harvard Business Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and American Behavioral Scientist.

Professional Development Units (PDUs)

Attendees to this program are entitled to 14 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from the Project Management Institute (PMI)® upon completion
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The Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

 EVERY LEADER, not just those going through change should take this course. Content is presented in engaging sessions that combine the theory on the how’s and why’s change does and does not happen easily with the practical tools to implement change. This is a “must do” course.”

- Christine Hall M.D, Department of Emergency Medicine, Island Health

 I found Vivian’s storytelling, interweaving with company stories, very engaging and very much put into context the ways to implement change.”

- Donna Lowe, Thriving on Change 2015, Project Manager, B.C Government

 Vivien was awesome, even after lunch! She spent exactly the right amount of time on the teaching material while providing lots of opportunities to work on change problems in small groups.”

- Cynthia Lee, Manager, Office of the Representative for Children and Youth

 A great combination of the practical skills and theoretical principles needed to lead change.”

- Sierra van der Meer, Director of Corporate Services, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

 Vivien is awesome! Her real life stories + genuine enthusiasm for the course make it very easy to buy-in.”

- Julia Mobbs, Director of Finance, Watoto Canada

 The instructor was first-rate and I have no hesitation in recommending her courses.”

Brian Gordon, PMO Manager, BC Ferries

 A very interesting and well facilitated course with different perspectives brought by all the participants.”

Dave Williams, Head of Production, Submarine Project, Seaspan Victoria Shipyards

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Dates and Location:

Victoria - 2018 Dated TBD
9:00 am – 4:30 pm each day

Fee: $1254.75 ($1195 plus G.S.T. including refreshments, lunch and all course materials).

This course takes place at:

Vancouver Island Technology Park
#2201 - 4464 Markham Street
Victoria, BC V8Z 7X8

‚ÄčTo discuss this course further:

call 250.721.6429 or email:

Contact: University of Victoria, Peter B. Gustavson, School of Business
   PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria BC V8W 2Y2, Canada
Copyright © 2017 University of Victoria