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The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects 

The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects is one of the results of our research which shows Optimism Underpins Successful Transformation and Change Projects. The research study is led by Jeff Kerr-Bell, Robert Masters, Kay Clancy, Amanda Noz and Victor Perton.

The Optimist's Checklist for Success in Transformation and Change Projects

Vision and Objectives: Develop an inspiring, compelling, and optimistic vision with goals that energise the team.

Think change that embraces an enhanced optimistic culture in the organisation to improve the lives of the team, leaders and stakeholders. What 2-3 proof points describe what it will be like when the vision is realised?


Leadership: Appoint Realistic and Infectiously Optimistic leaders.

Think about how Leadership can create the desire, knowledge and reinforcement for successful change. (Dare we say, "Can you foster magnetic optimism?)

Stakeholders: Identify and Engage with your stakeholders through meaningful conversations to deeply understand their culture, predispositions and what makes them optimistic.

Focus on fostering a readiness for change by exploring what drives stakeholder optimism. Engage in conversations that uncover their values, motivations, and aspirations, thereby cultivating a culture eager and prepared for transformation. Remember to ask what specifically makes them optimistic, as understanding their sources of optimism can be pivotal in aligning your transformation initiatives."

Scope: Determine the scope so everyone is on the same page

What are the parameters for implementing and achieving the Vision?  Define key waypoints that will demonstrate progress on the journey.

Strategy and Processes: Map the strategy and processes to move from the current state to the desired state.

Optimism is at the core of good strategy.  A successful strategy cannot exist without optimism.  What scenarios can we use to guide and influence stakeholders towards the desired state?

Resources: Ensure the program is resourced with ‘enabling’ people with supporting budgets.

Define resourcing needs – the optimistic people and technology - to achieve success.

Engagement: Cultivate and influence people to embrace the change.

Map out the engagement processes to optimistically influence, educate, communicate, and lead to achieving the vision through demonstration, championing, education, communication, and reinforcement.

Governance: Establish a governance framework that inspires success and innovation and actively dispels fear.

Craft balanced risk registers as tools for enablement, transforming potential obstacles into opportunities for growth and innovation. This approach asks, "how can we most effectively monitor, measure, and evaluate our project to stay on course or pivot as needed to fulfil our vision?"

By prioritising optimism, we ensure our governance strategy empowers us to anticipate challenges and seize opportunities, keeping us steadfastly on the path to achievement.

Read "Optimism is the Fuel for Positive Change"

Cassandra Goodman, Founder & Director of

"What makes me optimistic is that more and more leaders are realising that successful business transformation is dependent on the extent to which they themselves have the courage to embark on their own personal journey of transformation and exploration.”

Megumi Miki

"When you couple optimism with the courage to confront reality, it is a powerful force for positive change."

Gratitude JournalProject Optimism has produced "The Optimist's Gratitude Journal: 100 days to share and develop your gratitude" which is very helpful.


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We love to connect with everyone who is ready to open up and share their optimisim.