The change fitness story

Everything has a story. Here’s a quick peek at the change fitness story.

About 20 years ago, one of The Change Gym’s founders, Dr Steve Barlow, worked in the NSW prison system delivering anger management coaching to maximum security inmates. He became interested in why rehabilitative programs worked better with some inmates than with others. Why would a program that was highly effective for one person be a total failure with another?

The real question was something like this: what did some people bring to programs that made the programs work?

Unable to find a satisfactory answer, he decided to research it himself and enrolled in a PhD program. Six years later he had some answers to this question, and an Outstanding Thesis Award to boot.

To put it simply, a key ingredient to the effectiveness of programs is individual change readiness, also called ‘change fitness’.

Over the past 11 years, Steve and his business partner, Stephanie, have gone on to create the only change fitness assessment tool on the market, written 5 books, created numerous change fitness and other leadership programs, coached people in change fitness in 16 countries. Their change fitness coaching program has been on the scope of the International Coach Federation and Australian Association of Social Workers as a professional development course for coaches and social workers. They are currently delivering their change fitness coaching program as part of a Master of Leadership program at the University of Tasmania. Steve has also presented at many conferences around Australia and in Europe.

Over time, the change fitness story has expanded to include organisational change readiness and, together, they provide the ‘design language’ that sets The Change Gym’s trajectory and sets it apart from other providers.

Steve Barlow
Author: Steve Barlow

Steve heads up The Change Gym. He is a change readiness specialist. You can contact him at