A Map To The Future

A Map To The Future



“The future is a foreign county. They do things differently there.”

When you go on a road trip, do you like to take a look at the route, and points of interest along the way, using a map? I certainly do. Apart from helping me anticipate what I might need to bring along, I can get a better idea of how to make the trip more fun, or at least, more pleasant.

Absent a map, I find myself feeling a little more anxious about the trip. How long it will take. And when en route, whether I’m going the best (shortest, fastest, most scenic, etc.) way.

Fear Of Change

We often hear that people fear change. Personally, I love change, at least as much as I love road trips. But with change, and organisational change in particular, I feel a tad less anxious if I know a bit about where the change is taking us (waypoints, destination) and the route we might be taking to get there.

Aside: Organisational change rarely has a destination, being more like a migration with no fixed end point than a road trip from A to B.

Reducing Anxiety

I regularly use the Marshall Model to help folks gain some insights into the potential organisational journey ahead. Like a map, folks may choose to use the model to plan their route, see what points of interest lie along the way, and decide on possible waypoints and rest stops. Knowing something about what lies ahead, I find folks less anxious about “change” and more willing to both embark upon and continue with the journey.

So many organisational change programmes and initiatives ask folks to commit to a (likely hazardous) journey into terra incognita, with neither map nor compass nor provisions nor means of safety. Faith in the outcome is demanded, with little action to assuage folks’ natural apprehensions and anxieties.

How do you feel about planning and travelling on a journey with or without a map? Have you used the Marshall Model as a map in your organisation? Would you be willing to share your feelings and experiences?

– Bob


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