Tag Archives: methods

Change Fatigue and Burnout

Exploring the consequences of prolonged or excessive change efforts on individuals’ well-being and discussing methods to mitigate burnout.

Change Fatigue and Burnout

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Change fatigue and burnout have become pervasive issues in today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving world. With organizations striving to stay competitive and adapt to ever-changing market dynamics, employees are often subjected to prolonged or excessive change efforts. This relentless cycle of change can have detrimental effects on individuals’ well-being, leading to high levels of stress, exhaustion, and ultimately, burnout. In this thought leadership article, we will delve into the consequences of prolonged or excessive change efforts on individuals’ well-being and explore methods to mitigate burnout.

Change initiatives can range from organizational restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, new technology implementations, to changes in work processes and even job roles. While change is essential for organizations to thrive, it often comes at a cost for the individuals involved.

One case study that exemplifies the consequences of change fatigue and burnout is the financial sector. Over the past decade, financial institutions have been required to implement numerous regulatory changes to address the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The constant barrage of regulatory changes, along with the accompanying pressure to meet strict deadlines and maintain compliance, has resulted in high levels of burnout among employees in this industry. Research has shown that regulatory compliance officers, for example, frequently experience burnout due to the increased scrutiny and responsibilities placed upon them during periods of regulatory change.

Another case study that demonstrates the detrimental effects of excessive change efforts on individuals’ well-being is the technology sector. Technology companies are known for their innovative and dynamic environments, where change is the norm. While this fast-paced culture can foster creativity, it can also contribute to burnout. Employees in these organizations constantly face shifting priorities, reorganizations, and product launches that demand their full attention and energy. The resulting stress from prolonged or excessive change efforts can lead to decreased job satisfaction, increased turnover rates, and diminished productivity.

To mitigate burnout caused by prolonged or excessive change efforts, organizations need to take a proactive approach. Here are a few methods that can help:

1. Transparent communication and employee involvement: By involving employees in the change process from the beginning and maintaining transparent communication channels, organizations can alleviate anxiety and uncertainty. Employees who feel involved and informed are more likely to have a sense of control over the changes and can better manage their energy levels.

2. Promote work-life balance and well-being: Establishing a supportive work environment that emphasizes work-life balance and well-being is crucial. Encouraging employees to take breaks, providing access to wellness programs, and promoting stress management techniques can help individuals cope better with the demands of change. Google, for instance, offers its employees relaxation rooms, meditation classes, and encourages taking time for personal projects, leading to increased employee satisfaction and reduced burnout levels.


The consequences of prolonged or excessive change efforts on individuals’ well-being cannot be ignored. Change fatigue is a byproduct of our fast-paced world, and organizations must recognize the toll it can take on their employees. By implementing strategies such as transparent communication and employee involvement, along with promoting work-life balance and well-being, organizations can effectively mitigate burnout and cultivate a healthier and more productive workforce. It is time for organizations to prioritize the well-being of their employees while continuing to drive change and innovation.

Bottom line: Futurology is not fortune telling. Futurists use a scientific approach to create their deliverables, but a methodology and tools like those in FutureHacking™ can empower anyone to engage in futurology themselves.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Flaws in the Crawl Walk Run Methodology

The Flawed Crawl Walk Run Methodology

Many of you may have heard of the Crawl Walk Run project methodology. For those of you that haven’t the idea is that if a project team is trying to achieve something big, that sometimes you have to evolve your approach in stages rather than trying to make all the changes all at once. Many people are quite fond of this approach and can be heard repeating the mantra “Let’s crawl before we walk, let’s walk before we run.” Others have evolved Crawl Walk Run into Crawl Walk Run Fly. One of those groups is Edelman (a public relations firm), which in the following image proposes the following Crawl Walk Run Fly approach to social media:

Crawl Walk Run Fly Edelman

Ultimately the Crawl Walk Run Fly project approach looks back to the following Martin Luther King, Jr. quote for its inspiration and structure:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

But the flaw in the Crawl Walk Run project approach was exposed in a conversation I had yesterday with Stewart Pearson, a former client and friend, who happens to be the founder of Consilient Group, an emerging consulting group focused on helping clients undertake data-driven, insight-driven digital transformations to empower organizations to ignite sustainable growth and innovation.

Stewart was speaking about how some companies get stuck in this Crawl Walk Run mindset, and potentially jeopardize their future as a going concern. The truth is that Crawl Walk Run is only applicable to a small subset of projects, and definitely not appropriate for strategic projects because of the imminent danger of the competition transforming faster than you to better serve (and thus take) customers in the marketplace. Stewart captured this in the following way (slightly modified here by me):

“The danger of Crawl Walk Run is that while you’re busy crawling, a competitor is going to walk over you, right before another competitor runs over both of you.”

Then of course we can add in to this that if the customers wants and/or needs have changed, then simultaneously startups will not be crawling, or walking, or running, but FLYING by those incumbents engaged in a crawl, walk, or run strategies to maintain their relevance to the customers in the marketplace. But startups face their own danger in their FLY strategy, embodied in their lack of experience and infrastructure, and in many cases, their need to educate. This can cause startups to fly past the place where customers wants and needs have moved. So the flying strategy is not without risk.

Consulting clients or people inside your firm (depending on your context) may push back against this idea and again something like “Let’s crawl before we walk.” and it’s really seductive to give into this and tow the company line that achieving something is better than achieving nothing. But at the same time, the financial, human and capital resources that you might invest in implementing a broad crawl effort could potentially be more smartly implemented in a narrow run or fly effort off to the side that may then have the potential to be rolled out in a broad manner.

So, in situations where the company potentially faces more risk from moving slowly than from moving too fast, look for opportunities to craft a strategy that allows you to pick a small part of your business (possibly a single project or a single client) that you can begin building out a run strategy for (a strategy that leverages the existing experience and infrastructure of the organization) or a fly strategy (one that completely re-imagines your market approach).

The idea here being to prototype, test, learn, and then scale your transformative new market approach rather than gradually transforming your market approach in a series of phases. This is more like the approach we use in the innovation space, and has a lot of potential in helping to accelerate your ability to continuously transform your organization the maintain optimal value exchanges with your customers.

What do you think?

Do you think your organization could move away from the siren’s song of Crawl Walk Run, or are you stuck on all fours for the rest of your career with your existing client or employer?

This article originally was featured on Linkedin

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Get More Done

Get More Done

What Matters Most Management (WMMM) is the Key to Success

Most times you’ll see this posed as a question “What matters most?” as people grapple with finding the meaning of life. That is not the case here…

Instead I would like to share with you my simple management philosophy that will help you be more successful in today’s sometimes overwhelming, chaotic world of too many competing demands on your time.

I will help you succeed on a whim! (well, okay a WMMM)

Your success in this case comes from following the whim (or WMMM) of What Matters Most Management. It can be tailored for use in managing your time, a project, etc. For simplicity we’ll look at time management today by popular request (people ask me all the time how I manage to get so much done).

It involves quite simply making a quick inventory of all of the things that you could focus on today, or that you’re being asked to focus on, and identifying three key things:

1. How big of an impact will completing this task have (Hi/Med/Lo)

2. How big of an effort will it take to complete this task (Hi/Med/Lo)

3. When will my energy be the best for completing this task (Morning/Afternoon/Evening)

This daily inventory of tasks can be done in your head, or on paper, depending on how detail oriented you are. After you have your mental or written list, then plan your day, prioritizing of course any tasks with a low effort/high impact combination (often very rare).

You will also want to prioritize any tasks that involve getting others to do work. Getting others started on their work sooner rather than later, will lead to those tasks getting done faster because they are not sitting in your inbox.

Consider also whether it makes sense to start a task you can’t finish today or not. Sometimes there is no advantage to starting something today instead of tomorrow if you’ll end up finishing it tomorrow either way. Other times there will be tasks you need to finish tomorrow that you’ll have to start today to make it work. Going through this exercise is how you’ll identify What Matters Most (WMM).

I find this method to suit an organic person like me much more than a rigid system like Franklin Covey, plus systems like that don’t take into account when the ideal time might be to do a certain type of work based on the composition of your day and personal energy patterns. Save up somewhat mindless, administrative type work for when you’re brain is tired and do your more creative, intense work when your mind is fresh.

It’s also amazing how frequently the Pareto Principle proves out (where the items that deliver 80% of the value only require 20% of your effort, and vice versa). Focus on that 20% that will drive the 80% of your potential positive perception in the minds of others and in tangible impact in your life.

The WMMM approach works the same on projects, and can be super powerful when a family, project team, etc. all follow a similar philosophy.

The WMMM approach can also be used by product managers and entrepreneurs to create more successful products and services!

Go ahead! Try it! I think you’ll find that you’ll get more done, and sometimes more importantly, people will notice.

Image credit: earningmoneytoday.com

This article originally appeared on Linkedin

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