Condition 8: Leadership

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Introduction | 1. Dissatisfaction with the status quo | 2. Knowledge and skills exist | 3. Availability of resources |
4. Availability of time | 5. Rewards and/or incentives exist | 6. Participation | 7. Commitment | 8. Leadership

While leadership has been an underlying factor for Ely’s (1999) first seven facilitative conditions, it takes center stage in the final facilitative condition (p. 5). However, the type of leadership Ely describes in his eighth condition is more about the affective influence of leaders than their ability to make decisions and secure resources. The necessity of a visible commitment in the seventh facilitative condition expands here to encompass the need for inspiration and encouragement throughout the implementation process (Ellsworth, 1999, p. 72). Leaders (regardless of job title) directly affect the motivation of those using and implementing the innovation. Ensminger, Surry, Porter, & Wright (2004) noted that leaders provide encouragement, answer questions, address concerns, and serve as role models. In short, they champion and become the face of the innovation throughout all levels of the organization (p. 64).

(Noman, 2014)

Ely’s description of leadership in his eighth facilitative condition could also be defined as transformational leadership. This style of leadership is essential when an organization attempts to build a culture that values professional learning. Bersin by Deloitte found that only 38% of the employees felt they had access to long-term professional learning, training, and development at work. Organizations and leaders that take this data point to heart and begin delivering effective professional learning opportunities will gain a decisive advantage over their competitors (Akhundov, 2016, paragraph 7). Put simply, the ROI for leaders who understand and address the needs of modern learners in the workplace will be organizational longevity fueled by a skilled, loyal, and engaged workforce.


Akhundov, E. (2016, June 14). Modern learners, their needs and expectations based on Deloitte’s “Meet the modern learner” infographic [blog]. Retrieved from

Ellsworth, J.B. (2000). Surviving change: A survey of educational change. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology.

Ely, D.P. (1999). Conditions that facilitate the implementation of educational technology innovations. Educational Technology, 39 (6), 23-27.

Ensminger, D.C., Surry, D.W., Porter, B.E., & Wright, D. (2004). Factors contributing to the successful
Implementation of technology innovations. Educational Technology & Society, 7 (3), 61-72.
Retrieved from

Noman, A. (2014). Transnational [sic] vs transformational leadership [online image]. Retrieved September 13, 2017 from


5 thoughts on “Condition 8: Leadership

  1. I think the ability to effect change can all come down to this last condition. If company leadership isn’t also on-board or showing investment in the innovation, it most likely will not be around past the initial launch.

    1. True–and that investment has to carry through the entire life cycle of the innovation. When it comes to innovations, leadership needs to wear A LOT of hats
      1. Leader as listener
      2. Leader as decision-maker
      3. Leader as innovation spokesperson
      4. Leader as giver of resources
      5. Leader as cheerleader
      6. Leader as scapegoat
      7. Leader as strategic planner
      8. Leader as team player
      9. Leader as servant leader
      10. Leader as delegator
      11. Leader as visionary
      12. Leader as realist…and on and on and on…

  2. I would agree that active and visible leadership is a key driver of change. It’s good to see change leadership taught and developed as a skill.

    1. Absolutely true–change leadership is imperative to business and organization success. But simply teaching change leadership isn’t enough–leaders need mentors and coaches who can help them move change leadership from theory to practice.

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