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Case Study

Equipping City Leaders for Change


Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a city with national and historical importance. It is a national leader in scientific research and was heavily involved in the Manhattan Project during World War II. After the past twelve years at the helm of the Oak Ridge city officials staff, their city manager announced his retirement in June of 2023. With a new manager being sought for the city, the client sought to effectively prepare the remaining city officials for imminent change in management and shift their mindset and approaches for success.


Thrivence conducted multiple interviews with the interim city leader and discovered the specific needs of the other department directors. After researching the city’s history to better understand the implications and importance of the transition, Thrivence created and conducted a full-day, offsite retreat for 20 city officials. In addition, department directors were provided helpful customized guides to reference and apply for future transitions.


  • Increased client understanding of the common difficulties associated with change and the feared unknowns of new leadership
  • Identified and shared key values and leader characteristics desired by current employees
  • Developed a tangible onboarding plan for the new city manager, easing that important transition
  • Produced practical and applicable change management guides as helpful reference tools

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