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  • Hugo Immink

How to plan your change itinerary (and reach your destination safely) – 2 minute read

Does change drive you or do you drive change? I hope you didn´t need much time to answer…

If you work in an industry that needs to disrupt (any industry these days now really) in order not to be disrupted, the answer should be fairly simple. Change management is part of the core corporate competency list.

There are 2 things I like about change methodologies. Firstly, they make the complex and uncertain change landscape easier to look at, zoom into and to navigate through when determining the itinerary. Like google earth.

Secondly, a change methodology provides a common language for everyone on the bus to understand, adapt and connect to each other without getting lost in any translation during the trip. In other words, the common language serves as a collective power to drive the change.

Here´s where I find the wheels often times come off the rails with change methodologies. Very often, companies do not know which methodology suits them because they don´t have a clear picture on what their future landscape looks like (where they want to go), let alone the current landscape they are in (where they are now). All they know is that their current world is on fire. They feel the heat that starts to surround them without knowing where it comes from. Knee jerk reaction: Run! But then the question immediately pops up, whereto? And which map will we use to get there (you guessed it right: which change methodology to pick that best represents which route to take)?

And then, when it´s finally clear which route to take, they need to learn another language with the flames starting to lick their heels by that time. Suddenly the passengers on the bus are being told to learn Mandarin to better communicate with each other when ´run´ was being understood by most people already in the first place.

And last but not least, how is progress mastering the new language checked? New habits need to be formed which, we all know, is the hardest thing to do, especially in times of change.

So in order to make the most out of change methodologies you need to ask yourself 4 questions:

1. Can I plan my change journey adequately using this particular map (read: change methodology)? Does it give me the right eagle and ant view of the part of the world I am interested in and want to select my destination?

2. Which ´countries´ will I cross and which language would serve us best whilst passing through these countries during the journey?

3. Which language are the people on the bus most familiar with and how closely related is the to be learned new language to the one they speak?

4. How can I ensure people to adopt and embrace the new habit of speaking that language on the long and nauseatingly windy roads throughout the journey?

…so we all reach our new destination safely?

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