The practice was first introduced by Jurgen Appello in his book: how to change the world, change management 3.0.
What does it take to change the world? How can you change a social complex system? It only takes 34 questions to find the answers. Originally published in Jurgen Appelo’s, How to Change the World, the 90-page booklet is a fun way to share stories of successful change management processes.
Explain the Practice
An organization is a complex and adaptive social network. Jurgen Appello explain it well. Change management is learning to dance with the system. Second, we need to understand the people because they are the crucial parts of the social network. There is no one-approach fits all, I remember at the beginning of my agile coaching career working with a senior agile coach specialized in a famous scaled agile framework. Every time a team needed to scale up the only way he could think of was his preferred framework. As you can imagine these transformations never succeeded.
Why did I decide to use this practice?
The change management game helps to adopt complex thinking by considering all the elements that forms the system.
- Dance with the system: using the PDCA model
- Mind the people: using the ADKAR model
- Stimulate the network
- Change the environment
Indeed, by considering, the system, the people, the network and environment we can make sure that all the change crucial factors of success are our side.
How did I use this practice?
There are multiple ways of playing the Change management game.
- I decided to start asking the change management questions to managers at the beginning of my coaching to identify what, why, how and when they would like to achieve the transformation.
- For the coaching of multi-teams based in multiple different international geographical areas to check if we are still on the right track.
- I use it in retrospectives during the implementation of scrum framework
For the international program transformation, we used to have sprint reviews (of the transformation) with key stakeholders. During this review, I invite participants to answer questions from the 34 change management game using a liberating structure. Liberating structures are innovative and powerful ways to facilitate any type of meeting or workshop. The one that I have chosen to use is 1-2-4-ALL.
- Silent self-reflection by individuals on a change management game question 1 min.
- Generate ideas in pairs, building on ideas from self-reflection. 2 min.
- Share and develop ideas from your pair in foursomes (notice similarities and differences). 4 min.
- Ask, “What is one idea that stood out in your conversation?” Each group shares one important idea with all (repeat cycle as needed). 5 min.
- The base time of each card that was considered was 5 minutes and it was extended by 3 more minutes if participants voted to continue with the discussion of the question.
My learnings as facilitator
As a facilitator, I learned that dynamics and complex thinking support a team to discuss issues that can cause conflicts and result in a very simple solution by contrasting the points of view of each member; It is also important to make closing of the actions that the team will commit to carrying out in a given period. Moreover, engaging and including key stakeholders in the change management game makes program members fully actors of their own transformation.
I invite you to learn more about the “Change Management Game” practice on the Management 3.0 page https://management30.com/practice/change-management-game/
Thank you very much for reading!