The pace of change is accelerating, and for many people (and companies) things are changing so fast that they feel overwhelmed and retreat to the familiar instead of embracing the change. In fact we are approaching a tipping point where what is becoming interesting to the young is not the new, but the old. Vintage Michael Jordan sneakers, vinyl albums, rotary telephones, and analog amplifiers all have growing numbers of fans. In fact, vinyl album sales are increasing as CD sales decrease.
People are becoming so overwhelmed by the speed of change that the next new thing doesn’t always feel so new, and so those seeking to be on the cutting edge are increasingly looking backward for inspiration. Beards and hats have made a comeback, and before you know it the tattoo craze will have run its course. But is it the accelerating pace of change that people feel overwhelmed by, in their work lives and their personal lives, or is it a lack of tools for successfully planning and executing change that leads to people feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by the constant need to change?
Some people would argue that the pace of change is outstripping our ability as humans to cope with all of the changes we are being expected to absorb. I would argue that we are in the middle of a period of discontinuity thrust upon us by the rapid advances in computing and mobile connectivity that have put a supercomputer in everyone’s pocket and a target on most companies’ backs.
Digital Transformation is Being Forced Upon Us
Because we as consumers are seeing better customer experiences enabled by digital technologies in parts of our personal lives and more efficient and effective business processes in parts of our business lives, we are now expecting every company and every aspect of that company to deliver an efficient, effective experience and information exchange in whatever channel we choose, whenever we want to experience it.
This incredible change in expectations is being thrust upon all organizations simultaneously and threatening the very existence of entities that have existed for dozens or even hundreds of years. This discontinuity has created immense technical debt for organizations large and small to overcome and the only way for an incumbent organization to recover and to survive in this new digital age will be to undergo a complete digital transformation. This doesn’t mean creating a digital strategy to address one part of the organization or a single constituency, but a path to a complete transformation that brings digital approaches to both every part of the organization and its operations, but also to all of its constituencies, at the same time.
This means re-imagining every system, every policy, every procedure, and every process as a digital native company looking to enter and disrupt your industry might, and then make a plan for transforming yourself. This will require IMMENSE amounts of change, and is no small task given the 70% change failure rate, but it is the key to your organization’s survival.
A Problem and A Solution Emerge
The problem is that in twenty years of research, travels around the world delivering keynote speeches and workshops interacting with countless audiences on the topics of innovation and change, I have not uncovered one set of tools that makes change seem less scary, that can make the change planning process more human, and change execution more successful. The organizational change thought leadership status quo isn’t up to the task of planning and executing the scope and scale of change required for existing organizations to survive the digital evolution underway. A new wave of change thinking and a new set of tools are needed to displace the old guard. In short, I’ve decided to start a change revolution to free people from the tyranny of the blank word document and poorly planned change efforts. Who’s with me?
Today I am excited to announce the availability of the Change Planning Toolkit™, a Quickstart Guide to help explain what each of the more than fifty (50+) frameworks, worksheets and other tools are for, and most importantly, my latest book Charting Change to introduce you to the concepts behind the toolkit and its proper use. What I did find in my travels and my research referenced above were some good theories on behavior change and change leadership, and those, along with a couple of great case studies from Qualcomm and Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) and guest expert pieces from nearly a dozen hand-picked contributors, you will find in Charting Change. For my part, I’ve created a lot of great new theories and frameworks that you can put into practical use with the accompanying Change Planning Toolkit™. People who purchase a copy of the book will get access to an educational license for 26 of the 50+ frameworks, worksheets and other tools contained in the toolkit, including the Change Planning Canvas™ to pull your plan all together on one page (a $500 value). Individual and site licenses for the full version of the toolkit are available.
But I can’t do it alone.
Come Join the Change Revolution
I’m seeding the clouds with Charting Change and with the Change Planning Toolkit™, but I need you to make it rain.
The first 50+ tools in the toolkit are my own, the result of thousands of hours of work and years of effort. But I know once you download the 10 Free Downloads, or buy a copy of the book and get access to the first 26 of the 50+ tools in toolkit, or upgrade to the full toolkit and unlock all 50+ tools, that some of you may want to:
- Contribute a new tool to the Change Planning Toolkit™ (with full credit of course) to help accelerate change capabilities in organizations around the world
- Use the Change Planning Toolkit™ in your consulting business to help your clients and increase your revenue
- Become a preferred provider by translating the Change Planning Toolkit™ into additional languages, and earn a portion of any revenue from your translation at the same time
- Attend a train the trainer session to become a certified Change Planning Toolkit™ professional in order to spread the knowledge across your organization, or if you’re a consultant, to offer training sessions as an additional business offering
The reason I’m not trying to hold everything dear is that I have a full-time job transforming the insurance business and can’t be running around the world doing consulting work for clients. Instead I thought it made more sense to empower as many consultants and practitioners as possible to properly use the intellectual property I’ve created (and the additional intellectual property that others are likely to contribute) to help your organizations (or your clients’ organizations) cope with the accelerating pace of change.
I know that together we can change how we plan and execute changes big and small all around the world. And for those of you who think that the toolkit and methods are designed to only help plan and execute large changes (‘Capital C’ changes like mergers, acquisitions, transformations, etc.), I would like to remind you that small changes (‘lowercase c’ changes like projects and campaigns) can use the toolkit too. The fact is that every project changes something, and so every project is a change effort. That is why in my Architecting for Change framework, project management is shown as a subset of change management, not the other way around. So, whether you are a consultant, a professor, a teacher, a project manager, a vice president or a CIO, I hope you’ll join the change revolution, get your copy of Charting Change today and check out the Change Planning Toolkit™!
¡Viva la Revolución!
Contact me about doing a Change Planning Toolkit™ translation
Get information about Change Planning Toolkit™ public training sessions
Get information about Change Planning Toolkit™ private training sessions
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Click here to hear Tanveer Naseer interview me about my new book Charting Change on his Leadership Biz Cafe podcast.
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This is a very interesting article, Mr. Kelley. Digital transformation is definitely being forced upon us, and the tools you offer are needed in organizations that want to adapt fast and effectively.