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  • Writer's pictureMarion Pidgeon

There is a lot of truth in the old adage that you only get one chance to create a first impression.

Mark was working on the regional leadership team of a large international company. He was leading a team of 8 direct reports and about 50 staff below them. He was a successful, respected and valued member of the leadership team.

Then a major global change programme was announced which he had not expected, and which seemed likely to have a massive impact on his role and his team. Despite his best efforts to understand the intent of the changes and to plan effectively for them, Mark found himself struggling to engage with the change and lacking motivation to make the necessary changes. He kept revisiting the rationale for the programme, trying to understand why it had happened and whether, if he had done anything differently, the programme might not have been initiated.

Mark’s boss, the Regional MD, had been relying on him to be a strong supporter of the change and a reliable co-leader of the changes announced, but was disappointed to see Mark’s apparent negativity and resistance to the whole change initiative. It seemed that Mark would end up being a casualty of the programme, rather than an implementer of a restructured organisation and new ways of working.

While this was happening the corporate change team initiated a series of workshops for change leaders on the topic of “Facilitating Change & Transition”, aimed at increasing leaders’ understanding of human responses to change and thus being better able to support staff struggling with the change. Mark asked to attend.

In the space of just a few hours, using the visual TransforMap© transition tool in a small group workshop with an experienced transition coach, Mark understood what he was struggling with. He was able to address what others perceived as resistance, to look forward at the possibilities and opportunities offered by the changes and to get “on-the-front-foot” in his approach. After a discussion with the Regional MD Mark quickly took a lead role in the transformation of the business, supported several of his direct reports who were also struggling, and encouraged the Regional MD to adapt his approach to better engage staff in the programme of changes.

Mark also organised a “Facilitating Change and Transition” workshop for his own team and helped them through the their own personal transitions. Although several of his team ultimately left the organisation as a result of the change programme Mark credits the use of the TransforMap© tool with enabling the whole team to embrace the changes and engage more positively, and earlier, than most other teams. Even those who left the organisation seemed proactive and empowered in their approach to seeking new opportunities outside the team.

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