Home > Design tasks > Negotiating the purpose and topic of the change process

Negotiating the purpose and topic of the change process

Have you ever wondered how a large group of migrating birds decide how to go on a long journey together? A change process is very similar to a group of migrating birds leaving on a long journey together. For the birds the purpose of the journey is either to go somewhere to rise the next generation or to go somewhere to eat in times where the food supply is low.

In a group of human beings it is also a journey to a hopefully better place that will get them to start on the journey. When the birds are about to leave they perform something called Black Sun. A very large group of birds perform a very fascinating aerial ballet, where they fly around and almost block the light of the sun. But they leave when enough of them lift from the ground and fly at the same time. Change happens when enough people start doing new things at the same time.

Usually the purpose of a change process is to find a new and attractive direction that is attractive to enough of the participants to start the personal change process. The more attractive the direction is the easier it will be for them to begin the process together.

We resist change when the new direction does not make sense for us, when we do not have access to the necessary resources and when we are forced to go in a particular direction pointed out by people we do not trust. To trust a person is to leave part of your own destiny in this person’s hands. The purpose of a change process is to find the direction, make it attractive, and discover what we need to learn before we start the journey and then begin to practice the skills we need to master the journey and the new place we are going to build after we have made the journey of exploration.

To find the purpose of the journey you need to investigate the challenges the group you are working with is facing now and in the future. Challenges are both to improve the present solutions and to develop new solutions to challenges we haven’t mastered yet.

They do not need to agree completely on the relevance of the challenges. They need an overall agreement on the need for change and that they do not know which way is the best right now.

You job is to invite everyone to describe the challenges of the groups as they see it now. After collecting them you need to sort them into categories and give each category a headline.

With these headline you can write a general invitation to the change process. The invitation should include:

  • a short description of the challenges as you can see them right now
  • a short description of the trends and discontinuities you are expecting in the near future
  • a suggestion of organizing a change process that will find a way to handle these challenges now

If you can collect the challenges in a one-liner or a motto and put that at the top of the invitation you are ready to present the change process to everyone. “The journey of exploration to the most attractive organization in the world – how” is an example. You should work hard to create a one-liner that meets these standards:

  • it should formulate what you want in an attractive way
  • it should point to the future
  • it should be inclusive to everyone who can oppose and promote the change process
  • it should reflect the purpose of the organization or community
  • it should be as ambitious as possible
  • it should keep the final set of solutions and the concrete path to the future open

If the change process is directed at a specific set of challenges or a specific part of the organization you can reduce the one-line to: “The journey to the best human resource development department in the world – how?”

The concrete tasks and topics you will have to address in the change process will show up during the process. If you limit the process to specific tasks and topics you will often experience that it is necessary to include other tasks and topics in the change process, because things are interconnected when you want to create change.

If you change the tasks, the people need to learn new skills, you often have to change the way they do the tasks and your need to reorganize according to the changes. Today many of these changes include changes in your cooperation and contracts with external suppliers.

Categories: Design tasks
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: