Where Change Works Out

What we're about

How we look at things determines what we see.

Some industries appear monolithic. When we consider the health industry, the image of multi-storey hospitals comes to mind. We think of designated wards, operating theatres, and expensive machines. These huge buildings are the institutional face of healthcare – a blend of humanitarian approachability and scientific distance. Large hospitals have human lifespans – even longer in many cases – and they may seem unchanging to outside observers.

But appearances are deceiving. The people who work in these places live changing lives. Practice is shaped by new evidence. Machines are upgraded by new technologies. Policy responds to new needs.

The monolithic appearance of healthcare is but a snapshot of a passing parade. The only constant is change. And much has changed over the decades.

Our mission is to help people and organisations cope and thrive in this unrelenting flow of change. We believe change readiness is key to this success. We strive to bring the science of change readiness to people in the ANZ healthcare sectors.

Where are we?

The Change Gym is located on Australia’s Gold Coast. The company was established in 2010 and has provided services in 16 countries around the world. 

Our company was established with the objective of addressing the challenges that emerge when changes are introduced and don’t yield the expected results due to a lack of readiness. Founder – Steve Barlow – brings a wealth of experience in the field of psychology and human learning.

The pathway to change readiness

For Steve Barlow, the pathway to change readiness began in prison. Now, don’t jump to any hasty conclusions!

Steve worked in prisoner rehabilitation in a maximum security prison in Sydney – he delivered anger management and conflict resolution programs to inmates. It was during this time that he became interested in change readiness.

Why? Because attempts to change people don’t work very well if those people aren’t ready for change. You can spend a lot of money and not see much for it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to effect change. But you might need to build readiness first.

Steve went back to university, enrolled in a PhD program, and spent the next 6 years investigating what was going on in the minds of people who are ready for change. In the end, he had some answers. And an Outstanding Thesis Award for his efforts.

Equipped with valuable theoretical insights into the nature of individual change readiness (personal change fitness), the decision was made to develop a professional psychometric test to assess change fitness, measure it, and identify personal (and group) strengths and weaknesses. This test is called IRVEY®.

The test was a big step forward, but it wasn’t enough to solve the problems we were aiming for. There were still 2 big issues to address:

  1. A strategy was needed to remedy weaknesses in change fitness and to develop it in people and teams.
  2. The scope needed to extend beyond individual change fitness to include all aspects of organisational change readiness.

Addressing these 2 needs has been the focus of the last 8 years.

This has led to the development of training and coaching programs that build change fitness in individuals and teams. Building change fitness helps people handle change better and makes organisational change programs more effective. We have delivered these programs in 16 countries with people from a variety of educational levels and backgrounds. There has been an average 38% improvement in change fitness scores over a 90-day period.

We have also developed a series of formulas that describe, explain, and predict change readiness across an organisation. Using these formulas, we are able to build readiness for change organisation-wide. Doing so helps the organisation become more flexible, agile, secure, and competitive.


For over a decade, we have had the privilege of partnering with the University of Tasmania’s School of Medicine. They have utilized our services in several post-graduate courses. In addition, Steve has contributed further as an adjunct lecturer in their innovative Master of Leadership program.

The Change Gym has been able to empower students with knowledge on personal change fitness and organisational change readiness through IRVEY assessments, resulting in resounding success over the past 10 years. The impact of our work has extended beyond the shores of Australia, as Steve has also imparted his expertise to students and staff at universities in the US and Kenya. We confidently look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in the academic community through our endeavours.

We are confident in our ability to work with people and organisations who understand the value of a scientific approach to organisational development. We firmly believe that building capacity for successful change is essential and we are committed to helping you achieve it.

Change can be daunting, but with the right preparation, it can lead to great success. That’s why we encourage you to take action now and attend one of our upcoming Masterclasses, free of charge. Come and see for yourself how we can help you build your readiness for change and empower your team to achieve their goals. We are confident that you won’t be disappointed.