After Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland!
“Cat: Where are you going? Alice: Which way should I go? Cat: That depends on where you are going. Alice: I don't know. Cat: Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
I’ve used this quotation many times in conversations around the direction of travel and overall delivery progress for organisational change.
It’s professionally worrying how often change leaders and their teams agree the quotation is accurate to a significant degree for their specific CM situation.
So, if we accept for a minute or two that there is some “Universal CM Truth” in play, then why don’t change teams confront, as Al Gore titled his first major book on Climate Issues, An Unfortunate Truth?
Please brace yourselves for an unfortunate truth and my apologies if you are a “believer”, there is no Easter Bunny. However, chocolate in many forms is available in all good stores but going fast!
Your organisational change management will not be delivered by the Easter Bunny or any other mythical beast come to think about it.
Rather delivery will be by effective change team delivery working to a reality-based view of their organisational capability for accepting and adapting to change.
How about taking an objective view of the realities for your organisational change rather than relying on Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire cat.
An effective tool in reality-assessment: what’s working, what’s not and how to do more or less, is Force Field Analysis created by Kurt Lewin to assist him in unfreezing the status quo and then re-freezing the required changes.
Another conversation to be had regarding organisational change is around the value of the change(s) specifically, when compared to the cost of change(s).
I’m consistently confused by organisations ability to discuss the cost of change in great detail compared to their ability to discuss in comparable detail, the value expected from the change activities. Effective cost management is self-evidently a good thing. My point is that having a reasonable, clear articulation of expected value is more energising, motivational and future-focused. Both have their place but let’s try for a more balanced conversation around the cost of change.
Sponsors and Change Teams should not exist in “Wonderland”.
One of the challenges associated with organisational change delivery is, continuing the Alice in Wonderland theme is getting into a “Mad March Hare Mind-set” i.e. being “late, late, late”.
A useful tool in creating a reality-based change plan is 3-point Estimating using least likely, most likely and most optimistic estimates of delivery. This is especially powerful when done combining sponsors and change team. It’s got a better chance of being “our plan”.
Enjoy your Easter Break and remember to avoid “rabbit holes”