Arriving At A Better Place

"My anger has subsided. It's been replaced by discontent and anxiety. I've adjusted my life style - less hours, and no Sunday work. My family is now decidedly first, the Company second (it was the other way around). The Company has lost my total confidence, devotion, loyalty and trust... I'm now wary".

"I felt totally incompetent and confused. I must be going nuts... I've lost all sense of judgement. I had vivid dreams, re-playing the events in different ways... I spent a long time wilfully forgetting. It took a long time to feel better about myself and getting a clear view of what I'm good and not good at. And, understanding the reality and limits of my relationship with the organisation"

- "Survivors" of change

In conversations with organisations that have gone through major change programmes, the outcomes are often described by senior management as having been successfully executed! They say that there has been some resistance at lower levels and managers have left who were "unable to hack it". But the organisations have become "fitter and stronger as a result of reorganisation".

Yet, we have identified two potential outcomes of change programmes that tell a different story:

Stuck - where an individual has difficulty in progressing on their journey. Most models of change management have an inevitability about them that the individual will eventually emerge from the process. Our experience indicates that this not always the case. In the two examples from "survivors" of change shown above, both appear to be displaying elements of either:

Comfortable Energy - where they are happy to do their job and don't feel the need to do more.


Resigned Energy - where energy is lost and activities are having little business impact.

Moving Away - where, having emerged from the change process the individual has been so damaged or disillusioned that they decide to leave.

In each of these examples, whilst the physical "change" journey has been completed the psychological "transition" journey hasn't, and the people involved are in a worse place than when they started.

Triggers for Change

In considering change and transition as a journey, we have identified two "triggers". These are categorised as primary organisational triggers and secondary personal ones that are activated through each individual's sense and perception of the primary triggers. The primary triggers include all the conventional logics for why organisations feel the need to change. However, these are then often interpreted by each individual into positive or negative feelings.

Positive feelings include:


Negative feelings include:


How can organisations increase the positives and reduce or the negatives?

We know that a significant element in achieving this is "ownership and empowerment" and this is the basis upon which we have developed our "Back from the Future" workshop. This enables teams to plan a route map for their own Journey, including what they will achieve, how they will achieve it, how they will work together and how they will work with all of their stakeholders.

The starting point is enough communication to confirm that change is required and a clear Mandate for change from senior management. Then with facilitation, teams have the freedom, autonomy and opportunity to plan journey - in so doing, covering both the physical change and the psychological transition.

For more information on our "Back from the Future" workshop and recent examples of measurable success, please contact:

The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd

Prama House
267 Banbury Road

Phone: 01865 339558
Mobile: 07899 796993
Fax: 01865 339301

Registered in England No: 6717860

©2012 The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd