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Change Board: A fun change management tool

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Climatic frescoes are a real success both in form and subject matter. This is, through cards, to make participants aware of the environmental issues of our planet. Over the course of about half a day, participants commented on maps and built cause-and-effect relationships around the theme of the climate emergency. The topic is not new but it is taken up in an interesting way by getting people involved. Since then, we’ve seen other topics flourish, treated in the same way with Diversity Fresco, Human Factor Fresco, Digital Fresco, etc. In this dynamic of playful, experiential pedagogy, a group of experts propose a change mural to explain the key mechanics of managing change in business.

Importance of change management in business

Male comedian Francis Blanche “Thinking about a change is better than changing the bandage.”. Change is something that needs to be thought about and managed in order for it to happen. The work of the Essec Chair for Change shows that the number of change projects has tripled in 20 years. The work of the Singularity University in the US speaks to the exponential change in terms of the concept of technology convergence to mean that more and more processes will be digitized. Recent crises have shown the importance of flexibility and the ability of organizations to make rapid changes in performance and status. The administrative equation has become: production + management + change. To achieve and succeed in all of these changes in a development and/or survival pattern, it is important to understand the mechanisms of resistance to change and the levers of stakeholder engagement. Over the past 30 years, change has become a management thing with its theories, methods, tools and skills. Manager jobs require this while considering the mechanisms of change in their role as project manager, stakeholder, and supervisor.

The importance of experiential learning

The subject is not new in itself, and the curricula evolve over time depending on the projects and the company. Works by Lewin, Moss Kanter, and Kotter[1] They are mobilized to formalize the curriculum taught in terms of methods, tools and situations with content teaching methods illustrated in practical cases and exercises. However, it does not always bring about a change in behaviour, which might be mobilizing lessons learned on a daily basis and thinking of management as an act of engaging stakeholders in a group dynamic. To move from theory to practice, we suggest marshaling a more experimental and fun approach. It is the experience that creates learning by mobilizing the emotional dimension (collectively lived situations) and the rational dimension (the association between actions and outcomes).

Create a change management plan in 3 hours with the change board

The Change Panel is to suggest diagnostic and change support items for a typical project or business. From the project, participants have about 3 hours to fill in the panel below which provides information on the project, change issues, types of change, resistances, change strategies, levers and management. Participants have a deck of 52 cards for this (48 playing cards and 4 jokers). All cards are dealt to the participants and they must read to each box the cards of the respective denomination and then choose a number of cards (the number mentioned in the tableau box at the top right, eg 3 for bets). This makes it possible to analyze the different variables of change management and, in a collective, fun and experimental way, to build a change management plan for a project.

Figure 1: A mural of change

Presented during the 2022 International Transformation Meetings, the Change mural is in companies to build a project change management plan, raise awareness of change management and analyze change management actions for a project in progress or completed. This constitutes an educational device and works on the topic of change. More advanced training systems and operational deployments should complement this type of approach.

[1] Otisier, J.M. Mottot, 2023, The Change Management Method, 5th ed., Dunwood.

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