Thursday, July 30, 2009

Change Model 4: Change Is A Journey On Which You Embark by Holger Nauheimer

Another cool article from the Change Management Blog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Change Model 4: Change Is A Journey On Which You Embark


This model was developed by Vesa Purokuru. It is the base of a book that we are writing.

The Change Journey is a metaphor for the change process:

You choose a destination (India), set the direction, find a team, a sponsor, a vessel, food and things you might need on the way. You prepare and you set up sails to departure. On the way you constantly monitor the weather, the sea, the motivation of the crew and the environment. When needed you adjust sails and check the direction. In the course, you make new discoveries (America), find new people, and may change your direction, if that is right to get to the destination. In the end, the change journey is for the good of the organization, may be not for the good of all stakeholders.

What is the Change Journey?

  • It helps me (& you) to understand constant changes and the complexity of today's work environment.
  • It gives me (& you) confidence and "step by step" framework even it is impossible to predict what happens on the way.
  • It will be my approach and attitude to face something new and unpredictable
  • It gives me trust: I know where to start from.
Why do we think that change is a journey? In this complex and constantly changing world, we cannot manage, mandate or program changes the way we would like to. Neither can we sell new things or new thoughts successfully.

Most of today's work is not mechanistic and repeatable any more. Instead, most of nowadays work is based on thinking kind and fueled by enthusiasm, passion & dialogue.

What we can do is to invite people to co-create their futures. The more people you are able to invite, the more successful you will be in reaching your preferred destination.

By doing so it is difficult to predict precisely what will happen but it is sure that there are a lot of committed experts thinking the best possible solutions and innovations to create a sustainable future.

This journey is mainly about attitudes, and the belief in the power of self organization, passion and responsibility and that the most powerful processes of change happen at the micro level where relationships, interactions, small experiments and simple rules shape emergent patterns. The change journey leads and encourages us to trust in two things that are essential for change: people and processes.

In the journey we leave the concept of "change management" behind. Instead, we talk about "change facilitation". Although we do appreciate that their are actually a lot of tasks to be managed and planned in a change process, we would like to focus on the term "getting ready" for the change.

So, the Change Journey is about new attitudes and paradigms towards change but additionally it gives you suggestions what to do and how to do it if you have set your sails. There are advices how to create a roadmap for involvement, participation and first and foremost - how you can get ready for the journey yourself.


1. Preparation:
-Getting prepared for change journey: known and unknown
-Exploring & understanding reasons and alternatives
-finding common mind set: balance between top-down & bottom-up
-Choosing change models
-Finding right partners
-Agreeing the rules and principles
-Making first plans
-Discovering change forums

2. Starting the change journey:
-Getting everybody involved and engaged by joint planning,
-Understanding A to B journey
-First moves & actions towards the goal

3. Living the change journey:
-Living the new reality
-Using strengths
-Solving problems measuring and changing the change
-Becoming aware what works and what doesn’t

4. Creating skills for working in constant change:
-Learning from the experience,
-Developing new skills,
-Being prepared for future changes,
-Being able to change things fast


The Change Journey is applicable for highly complex change projects and for organizations that are aware that change has no end. It helps to identify those skills that are essential in situations of high uncertainty.

Does the model relate to complexity theory?

Yes. The model is based on the notion of complexibility. Change is perceived as a process of constant reevaluation.

  • The model does depart from the illusion of planability of change processes
  • It is highly participatory
  • It supports multiple leadership
  • no roles are defined
  • the model might be perceived as exclusive - what about the people who are left out
  • it does not give any guidance and therefore requires an organizational culture of risk taking

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