Our Change Design Canvas

When it comes to change management, we usually have the fundamental guidelines in mind that inform us what we need to do and of course we already have a plan for implementation.

In case you wonder what a GPT would give you as an answer, lets give it a try:

A GPT prompt for Change Management

I want you to be my [your leadership role] consultant and coach. You shall help me to prepare an organizational change program. Please provide me a list with the top 10 methods we need to be aware of.
No description, numbered list.

  1. Stakeholder Analysis
  2. Change Impact Assessment
  3. Communication Strategy
  4. Leadership Alignment
  5. Change Champions Network
  6. Training and Development
  7. Resistance Management
  8. Feedback Mechanisms
  9. Celebrating Successes
  10. Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

Looking at this list, an experienced and skilled change manager will think: “This is stating the obvious.” And yes, it is a very common pattern, that is based of various literature such as Kotter’s 8 steps.

However, in my experience many leaders struggle with this starting point. This is why we developed the Transformation Journey Canvas that visualizes the various streams of thoughts and questions you might look at before the change. It guides you to the initial questions to be asked and will give you some prompts you can ask a GPT within your special context.

©©Think Network GmbH | CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International
First canvas within a set for the Transformation Journey, for a high resolution file please get in touch.

Why is transformation and change a journey?

We are using the metaphor of a journey as it describes well the volatility and expectations of change on the way. Furthermore, you likely learned how to read the public transport maps and our intent is to ease your reading.

Each of the colored lines is describing one special topic and the questions (stations) on its way. The colored fields on the bottom are for your notes and information you want to capture.

Imagine you plan to climb the Matterhorn. You automatically have some thoughts about it, like

  • your preparation, 
  • the uphill climb, 
  • the time on the top and 
  • hopefully the downhill climb too.

In the end, you might say we need to run a party, when we are back – however let’s not plan this yet.

All of these elements describe a nice journey, and you can add some other relevant questions too.

  • What routes are available to get to the top?
  • What grade / difficulty do have these routes?
  • What equipment do I need to take with me?
  • With whom am I climbing?
  • How should know about us doing the climb?
  • What are the weather conditions during the time we intent to do the climb?

In my experience leaders are often asked to run change programs, without the required experience or training. It is part of their role, so it is somehow expected they know how to do it. And if the change is not successful, there was to much resistance. 

With our Change Design Canvas we want to provide a simple solution to give you guidance. Instead of wondering if you missed something, this canvas guides you through the various topics to come to a good starting point. It even gives you some reference how you can judge yourself if professional help might be suitable. More details to these topics we will describe in further articles.

How to start practically?

Have a look at the whole canvas and get a first idea. We recommend using post-its to start a brainstorming about the various questions.

To avoid, that you run through the canvas just line by line, check the core four phases:

  1. Mind the gap,
  2. Envision the future,
  3. Let‘s design the future,
  4. Start the journey.

It is a good strategy to check all the lines within one of the phases before going to the next phase. After clustering your responses in the brainstorming, you can note down all results in the boxes.

By the end of this walk through

The value of the canvas lies within the simplification of the preparation. The analysis and planning phases of the change are completed, and you can start into execution.

You also get aware of the open topics or not well-known methods you, or your team, might want to rehearse before execution.

We use this concept to reduce the setup and ramp-up phases for the changes. It allows us a quick start while being sure we did not miss important aspects in the process.

Let us know about your experience using this or similar canvas concepts.

Image sources

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