Eight Educational Experiences with Emotions

  • I am feeling joy.
  • I am feeling encouraged.
  • I am feeling… grateful.

The above three emotions were the result of a short future focused self reflection for me, using the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD). How are you feeling today? How are you really feeling? What emotions are you connecting with today?


I have been on a six-month learning journey and I’m reflection and future spying on the impact of the ECD to me and my approach professionally and personally. I have played the game many times now, with individuals and teams and I’m about to share its approach with a group of individuals who are not a team, but I want to see the ECD and the opportunities for it. As I prepare for this session – and I think there may be more – I thought it would be good to summarize my discoveries.

  1. People confuse their real emotions with those expected of them by others. There is often a belief that people are expected to show a certain emotion in a situation but want to express something else. Consider the challenge of a person who wants to laugh when fearful, or does not want to say how challenged they feel, for fear of belittling by others.
  2. Leadership teams often struggle to understand their organization because they lack the empathy to address the emotions present. This causes disconnects and a challenge to be successfully aligned.
  3. It is equally important to recognize the emotions you readily embrace and the emotions you don’t want to see but know are there. When you look at both sides of the coin, its easier to understand the why and how of the emotional responses.
  4. A focus on emotional responses to a situation, give you the power to accept, manage and direct that situation to a desired outcome. Emotion based action planning can be highly effective.
  5. Emotions are the fuel that energizes the culture of an organization. Culture is driven by the how and why of the relationships within an organization and understanding this network of pushes and pulls are part of the construct of the culture.
  6. Giving space to talk emotions can help build a psychologically safe space where it previously doesn’t exist. When people can talk freely about emotions, in front of others, in collaboration with others, and gently challenge choices with meaningful and respectful dialogue, then they are prepared to move to the more difficult conversations.
  7. Its ok to draw a blank! Sometimes you can’t find the right words to express an emotion and so going with the closest or more resonating can help to fine tune. Sometimes, you just can’t get the right words to express yourself and I’m ok with that.
  8. Never be surprised how much can be achieved in a short time when emotions are in play! I’ve undertaken 60-minute sessions and over half day sessions and found myself always surprised at the pace and amount of discovery happening through the time.

The ECD is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you build a great action plan, canvas or strategy for development of a whole range of areas. The past 6 months have been an amazing journey – great to connect (and reconnect in some cases) with some amazing people who think so cleverly about the human centred situation. I look forward to many more journeys with this little game, and fun times exploring its potential … now to hack the pack!

If you are interested in experiencing the Emotional Culture Deck, see our page here

Here are a few ways you can learn more about The Emotional Culture Deck:

  • Visit www.theemotionalculturedeck.com
  • Download a free Lo-fi PDF version of the deck at the website, click here
  • Complete The Emotional Culture Deck Online Masterclass course like I did here
  • If you still have questions, feel free to contact me here for a chat

#emotionalculturedeck #proelephantrider #ridersandelephants #emotionalculture

Misaligned Leadership & the Passive Resistor

Ever wondered how it would feel if you could box up all your emotions and hide them away? It’s strange how we are driven, led or even coaxed down pathways we wouldn’t normally travel, just because of an emotion? We can decide the excitement of the new is greater than the fear of the unknown.  We move the limits of confidence because of commitment, and we peer into the uncomfortable because of the joy the result may bring.

The Emotional Culture Deck (ECD)

If you have read my previous blogs, you will know that I am currently undertaking a deeper exploration of emotions and their role in achieving workplace cultural success. This journey is prompting me to go through a range of different activities with individuals and groups, playing with the Emotional Culture Deck (ECD) to discover and develop a range of activities.

I recently undertook one of these ECD workshops with a leadership team at a purpose driven non-profit organization.  They are not a large team, with a variation of skills and experience. I was exploring their leadership capacity and focus for the organization achieving its potential. As I prepared for the workshop I reflected upon recent conversations that had taken place between myself and the executive director. I had undertaken some leadership assessments as part of the bigger professional development journey for them. I was confident that all this insight into the team would make me fully prepared for the few hours we would spend together. I was very wrong!

ECD in Action

When it comes to emotions and discussions about their presence, not even I was prepared for the variation of responses within the group on the day. There were those that leapt at the chance to share while there were those that were a more reserved. Fortunately, I have many years experience in facilitation, and I was able to judge the group dynamic pretty fast, even with this being online. It quickly became apparent that one individual was out of step with the rest of the group and what I first thought was reserve was actually a passive resistance.

Exploring the emotions that leaders lean into and shy away from brings to the surface some interesting observations. There are people willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the greater good of their organization. Others, only want what is good for them. These latter people are often square pegs trying to fit in the proverbial round hole. They may lack a certain authenticity and watching their team dynamic is a confirmation of this. Unfortunately, the situation I was in today, showed our passive resistor to be disingenuous and lacking authenticity in supporting the purpose of their organization. A situation that I had to navigate, while still allowing the others to contribute in a safe way.

This was not an easy session, but it was a valuable discussion. The outcome of the experience was that the team discovered they were not the team they thought they were. The follow up required some difficult conversations and the resultant self realization was acceptance of poor fit and eventually a resignation by the misaligned individual.

This was the outcome of playing a card game. Yes, it was an emotional card game but an important one of reflection and candid conversation. The result of the commitment statements I concluded the game with, is a better organization, with a more cohesive and stronger leadership team. I’ll take that as a good result!

If you are interested in experiencing the Emotional Culture Deck, see our page here

Here are a few ways you can learn more about The Emotional Culture Deck:

  • Visit www.theemotionalculturedeck.com
  • Download a free Lo-fi PDF version of the deck at the website, click here
  • Complete The Emotional Culture Deck Online Masterclass course like I did here
  • If you still have questions, feel free to contact me here for a chat

#emotionalculturedeck #proelephantrider #ridersandelephants #emotionalculture

The Future of Change Management Lives Outside the Box

This ever-growing portfolio of transformation needs change professionals to keep adding capabilities to their toolbox, developing deeper intervention practice and broader approaches to engage in these new and exciting spaces. I do not use the word exciting lightly. I think that we are in exciting times for change, but this means that the way many people successfully deliver also needs to evolve.

Are you ready to see what’s outside?

There was a time when the primary focus of change management practice was rooted activities surrounding technology implementations. Times have changed. The focus for change support has broadened with an increase in activity for culture shifts, strategy development, organizational design, and workspace reorganization, to name but a few new spaces of change.

It has been many years since I did a technology implementation, but I speak to many in the change community who are still primarily doing this work. It concerns me that the desired approach of their organizations is a template driven project managed change management. This style doesn’t create a good fit for the change but rather forces a fit to an approach. I know many of these practitioners are frustrated by the confines this expectation places on them. There is a time and place for document driven change, but its not the panacea to all change. These practitioners want to give so much more than a few documents inside a project delivery. When you work in supporting people’s responses to the new, different, and strange, you want to have meaningful engagement with them that delivers solutions to their pain points. This means expanding the offerings you give to meet the greater needs and expectations being placed.

It was approximately 4 years ago that I was at a change management conference and I said organizational design is part of change management. I pushed for someone to come up with a case study or paper at the following year’s conference, I think I even offered to buy them a drink if they did. However, it did not happen, and I am still to see an organizational design reflection at a change conference. I have taken an organizational design journey of discovery these past few years. Adding to my existing knowledge and bringing myself up to date with current practice and approaches in the organizational design space; I found the commonality is significant. The activities needed for organizational design is definitely overlapping and complimentary to change management and no more or less than I see with project management or organization development. I do strongly believe that change professionals need to add the organizational design skillset within their portfolio to better meet the needs of their clients or leadership expectations. There is no gain to be had in helping to implement a change with the confines of a badly shaped organization.

I have been a coach for many years and have been utilising the skills throughout my change engagements. I truly find that taking a coaching approach helps me to build trust, find the true cause of responses and understand the needs of anyone experiencing change. In the past couple of years, I’ve seen more connection between coaching practice and change delivery, but its still evolving. I recommend that coaching skills are developed for every practitioner to understand their communications style, language choices and engagement techniques. Coaching is often seen as a 1-1 arrangement, but every organization is made up of individuals and the best way to change an organization is to change the individual’s relationship with that organization.

Where will you find your next tools?

I am fascinated to see how other disciplines and areas of practice influence the future of change delivery in the coming years. I’m intrigued by the potential for ergonomics and physiotherapy are going to influence the how we approach changing workspaces, particularly given the impact of Covid-19.  I am excited to see the evolution of Agile and agile within change, the links to process improvement practices and continued connect to the learning and development space. Neuroscience and psychology have long played a part in explaining change responses, but now we seem them being flipped to work on supporting others through the change. There are more than just these area that can connect to change management, but these are just the few that come to front of mind.

If you are interested in learning with me to gain deeper skills in change delivery, organizational design and coaching for change I have a number of advanced courses coming up.

The Certified Change Leader includes agile, strategy, culture and more – read more here: https://capillarylearning.com/qualifications/certified-change-leader-ccl/

Understanding Organizational Design provides a foundation in the practice and good examples to gain the fundamentals – read more here: https://capillarylearning.com/workshops/understanding-organizational-design/

The Delivering Organizational Design Program guides you through the practical requirements with assessment tools, formulating plans and real time activities to practice – read more here: https://capillarylearning.com/workshops/delivering-organizational-design/

Developing Coaching Skills for Change is a robust workshop that helps align change and coaching practice with an easy to follow approach and plenty of opportunity to practice – read more here: https://capillarylearning.com/workshops/developing-coaching-skills-for-change/

Change Practitioners should now be supporting Change Recovery

I am very aware that change has significantly affected everyone this year. It’s been a tough 2020. The conversations I’ve been having, discuss how so many organizations and individuals have been pushed sideways (and many other directions) by the impact of Covid-19. We need to start thinking how we recover, reshape and prepare for the after-effects of this massively disruptive change!

Like many businesses, my springtime pivots probably looked like pirouettes! Far to much reaction and not enough proactiveness. I recently chatted with a business owner who said that their biggest pivot in 2020 had nothing to do with the lay-offs and reduced revenue, but actually their personal realization that now its time to focus on what I need to survive this. He no longer has the freedom to try out and spend on the hope that it works.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and realise that maybe its also time to pivot how we apply our change skillsets. The need is no longer about delivering change but how to make the right responses to the changes, how to sustain the impacts and how to move ahead in supporting businesses recovering from the aftermath of change. There will be needs for further changes to do this – consider organizational shape and size, process and workplace modifications and a whole raft of needs to refocus direction. Organizations are now going to need change practitioners to help them move forward from the change and not sit back hoping for a return to what was before. That isn’t an option!

We are fortunate to be well supported by government financial plans here but these will not last forever and by the fall of 2020, like many other businesses, will have to be self-sufficient and ready to move forward with our new approaches. Capillary has refocused a number of activities to be better placed for this time. We have we reshaped functions and roles, flexed strategic plans for new priorities and are in the midst of designing a number of more efficient processes to compliment more virtual working and a new kind of physical workspace in the months ahead.

In doing this for Capillary I realized these are things we’ve being doing for years as part of our consulting engagements. And is something we can offer other growing organizations at this time of challenge.

I have created a business recovery program that brings all these tools and techniques together. With two fixed price options, businesses know how much they are spending and what they are getting. The cashflow is tight right now and gone are the days of open-ended consulting activity. If you are a growing or developing organization that needs help in building your recovery strategy, let us help you. More information can be found here: BUSINESS RESTART PROGRAM

If you just want to talk about options or you are struggling to find your way clear of the current disruption, just get in touch and lets have a conversation – for free! I want to see us turn the negative impact into positive opportunity and reflect on making the possible come true.

Be Agile, Be Ready, Be Bold and Change!

For some time, I’ve been having this conversation that an agile organization, is an organization that is much more resilient and ready for change. Although I’ve had my Agile journey’s of discovery, I must admit that I’m surprised that, so few people get this. Being agile is about a mindset. Its about culture. Its about people. Its about having the presence of mind and personal self awareness to flex, bend, move and work with a change and not try and snap.

When we consider determining how ready an organization is for change that’s coming, we often think of readiness for a planned change and revert to out tried and tested process. We get “that template” printed off and start ticking boxes and assessing change readiness with some magic formula that then presents us with the planned activities we need by some systematic gap analysis. Its all very dry and functional in approach but it’s the best we must work with. At the start of any change event, we have to assess change readiness. But what if we didn’t?

How about an organization that never needs more than a confirmation of change readiness? An assessment that is nothing more than a short conversation? And no need to create a change readiness plan of action. It may sound far fetched but its not. When you build agility into the workplace culture, you build readiness into the DNA. Now there may be a little work to confirm specific details of each change, but Agile organizations flex to accommodate the changing needs and the people who work in them are up for the challenge, with higher levels of resilience and capacity.

Are we being agile?

Now what about unexpected change, you know the disruptive kind of change? Yes, the changes we face living in a VUCA world! Building organizational agility supports the successful negotiation of these types of changes too. In fact, being agile, supports the resilient mind that doesn’t panic when the unexpected arrives, but stays calm and carries on when it is presented to them.

Now becoming an agile organization requires dedication and hard work as that is a change in of itself.  However, the hard work pays off time and time again on all future change initiatives. So my challenge to you is to find a way to develop your organization’s agility and make all those future changes less painful.

This article is part of the 2019 #ChangeBlogChallenge on the topic of Change Readiness in Quarter 3. Click here to see what other change thinkers say about this topic.

My Agile Awakening – an Adventure towards Cultural Agility

About 6 years ago I first starting consciously noticing the Agile word coming up in many of my professional social feeds. I think it had been popping up before then, but the volume of its presence became more noticeable to me at this time. In total honesty the word scared me for several reasons.

Fear

I was afraid

The first reason was my fear of the unknown. I didn’t really know what it was, and I’ve always been someone who prides myself on being current and up to date on terms, approaches and the like. This was something I didn’t really know a lot about and what I did know added a secondary fear. I knew it was something from software development and back in the dark ages when I was a Mathematics undergrad student, I never got on well with my software development courses – I did what was required but it wasn’t the same comfort zone as the rest of my courses. Thirdly I have never wanted to be at the back of the line for something new, and I physically felt myself slipping back on this Agile thing! In reflection I was afraid of the unknown and yet I was also afraid of the known, or at least my known. Not a good place to start.

During 2013 my curiosity began to get the better of me. I was working at a location anchored in a traditional waterfall project management mindset, in fact they weren’t doing that very well, and I was frustrated by this among other things. So I started exploring and spent the next 12-18 months trying to get my head around this Agile thing that people were talking about. My rapid learning was fueled first by the musings of Jason Little and his Lean Change Agent book, then my mind double flipped with the 2015 Spark the Change Conference in Toronto, and a particular shout out to Riina Heldström who was at that Spark conference and made me ignite my mind to Agile beyond software and PM where she talked Agile HR and my thoughts raced through “of course, isn’t it bleeding obvious” through to “why am I stuck fighting against what is so f**ked up here”?

a gauntlet

the proverbial gauntlet

Anyone that knows me well, knows that this is throwing down the gauntlet to me. And my Agile adventure began. An accelerating learning curve over the last year or two has brought me to the place I’m at now. I’ve learned about elements of the practice, from scrums and huddles, to product-based ownership and customer centric drivers. I’ve learned how people practice it in a way that some think is wrong, and others think is right (isn’t this true for every business practice?) I connected my background and experience in the lean six sigma activity and operational excellence. I looked at the manifesto and then researched the multiple operational translations of the manifesto. I dug and dug until my brain was ready to go pop!

I discovered that there is a kind of hard Agile focused on project management, product development and all things connected to physical delivery. Then there is a softer, almost “agile agile” anchored in mindset, values and behaviours. This latter is where I emphatically gravitated, demonstrating agility in the workplace, with people and their thinking, no doubt heavily influenced by my change management background. I guess I would call it cultural agility in my head and I felt happy in this space.

Rich looking happy

I felt happy

I have continued my learning journey in Agile and discovered some really cool people with thoughts and ideas in the space – my thanks go to recent contributors Sarika Kharbanda and Evan Leybourne (do check out the Business Agility Institute) As with all disciplines, I’ve unfortunately found some people who have an arrogance about the practice – unless you have this cert or that qualification, you don’t know what you are talking about – but I’ve had that in every area I’ve been exposed to over time and let it slip by. I’m now reflecting on so much activity I’ve done over the years that has had an agile ethos about it, leadership styles, HR practices, business improvement activities, even my strong desire to only do what is needed, not what people would like… I think I’m a convert, I just don’t think I have a label for what I’ve converted to … I think I’m going to go with cultural agility as a label, for something I don’t think I really want to label.

The Real Reasons to become a Certified Change Agent (CCA) – maybe!

So my last post was a little saccharine coated in terms of the reasoning to do the certification but having had some feedback I decided to bring this post up a few weeks. I’m not totally in agreement with all these reasons but given the feedback I had here’s why your boss, compatriot or you should think about doing the CCA.

Read more

Seven Reasons to Become a Certified Change Agent

Since I launched my certified change agent (CCA) program one of the most common questions I get asked is “why should I do this”. I usually explain what the learning includes, key take aways etc. but I have now taken a little time to put together something more structured. Here are the seven reason to become a CCA.

  1. Gain an understanding of the impact of change on people, their likely reactions to the change and how to effectively work with them to adopt or implement the change.
    discussion group
  2. Learn what change management is all about and when, where and how to use it most effectively for successful change events to take place.
  3. Learn what it means when you take on a change agent role and get insight into the many different types and roles that require individuals to act as change agent.
  4. Understand the role of a change leader and how leadership plays an intrinsic part of successfully delivering change events.
  5. Learn from my own experience, spanning over twenty years in the field, with real life insight and discussion from the many change events I have successfully delivered.
  6. Get an internationally recognized qualification accredited by international professional bodies with pre-approved professional credits.
  7. Be part of a vibrant network of individuals going through the same experiences as yourself who can share experiences and take the opportunity to connect physically and virtually to explore not just the certification program but also how they have dealt with (or are currently experiencing) many change events.

For me these are the key benefits to becoming a CCA. 

There are many other reasons that are personal to each individual who attends. I have been told it has given attendees renewed confidence with colleagues, helped them to appreciate and manage their investment of personal energy in projects and enhance career opportunities.certified

I encourage attendees to develop their own personal learning experience from within the framework of the program, each will be unique but equally applicable to develop themselves as a change agent.

I look forward to seeing you as part of a future program.

What’s in a Name? (Part 3 of 3)

My previous two blog posts have very much focused on the negative frustrations, ambiguities and misrepresentations of words and phrases. I don’t want to dwell any more on those frustrations but I wanted to focus on the positive and successful use of words that are out there.

circleofpeopleI was delivering a workshop a year or so back, when some attendees from out of town started talking about the rebranding their organization had gone through. The labels attached to various departments and divisions within their organization were changed to be more user friendly. Instead of division, department or other such phrases they had moved to “people” or “team” as descriptors of the groups and instead of long complex phrases, they had simplified it into one or two words. For example the finance and procurement division was now “the money people” although they are still doing all financial works like finding car finance for buying new cars and the human resources, learning and organizational development department was rebranded “the people people”. There were a few other such areas mentioned in conversation – “the tech team”, “the welcome team” and “the processing people” to name a few others. Now there may be a smile associated with hearing this but it really resonated with me. So often we think the more complex the title, name or other label associated with something, then the grander or more important it is. Yet, that is simply not so. Just saying what it is and how it works is a simple idea that really speaks volumes to me. For latest updates follow pruittvillefarms .

So how does this relate to my change management labeling challenge? I think that we have done ourselves an injustice using the term change management. It has too many ambiguities and confusion areas. People see it as change control management in projects, tech builds and the like. Sometimes it is confused with managing change which is akin to the project management the art of changemethodology. I’ve seen many discussions replace the phrase with change leadership, leadership development, organizational development and strategy execution. I hold my own hand up and say “guilty as charged” – I’ve done it myself. I have also had the 30 minute conversations around “so what is it you do?”

Around four months ago I was at the ACMP Conference in Las Vegas and had some very thought provoking moments through discussions with others and listening to conversations. The ACMP Academy was probably the catalyst for this but since that time I’ve been playing around in my head with a better way of saying what we do, change management folks. I looked at what, why and how we do things in our realm of activity. Broadly we focus on the people side of change and either we help people to deal with a change that is impacting their existence (personal and/or professional) or we help people to change based on a need to refocus their approach or direction (again personal and/or professional) and often it is both simultaneously! But I ask why are we doing this and it’s about getting people to give of their best in a given situation, or transition that they are experiencing and we act as navigator to that journey. We want to get them to maximize their potential within their existence and that is by understanding and embracing the changes they face and making their own necessary changes to best deal with this. This thought process led me to “maximizing human potential” as a tag line to better explain what I do than the label change management. What I am saying is really one and the same, but for people2 ways change who sit outside the realm of the discipline the confusion of the label is a burden I wish we didn’t have to carry.

Now I throw it open to you? What terms or phrases do you think are better? Have you come across anything like “the people people”? Is it just liability we have to manage in our world? Do comment below or email me directly – or both!

Shakespearean Transformation

I was recently fortunate enough to visit Stratford Ontario for a couple of performances in their Shakespeare Festival. This got me thinking that for stories that are over 400 years old, a lot of transformation and change within the plot lines and many of the humour and emotive responses found throughout can be related to modern day change resistance, acceptance and approach!

So I thought it would be fun to reference content that resonates with myself and discuss their relevance today.

Now a disclaimer and an alert before we begin. I’m not going to attempt a blog post in rhyming couplets, that’s just a little beyond my capability index. Apologies if I don’t mention your favourite, I’m sure there are many other quotes I could use, but I have not been privy to the full canon of Shakespeare – yes its one for the bucket list – but I’m most definitely short of a few kings, some other comical interludes and probably only about fifty percent exposed. I guess I should also give a spoiler alert to those that have not seen a production of one of the mentioned plays – yes plot lines may be shared!

Where is a good place to begin? Maybe with one of my favourites – a play full of transformation and reactions to change – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The story is summed up in “The course of true love never did run smooth” because the play is about those that do and don’t fall in love and change the focus of their affections through the interference of fairies but also the views of their parents. Now it may be anchored in personal love, but it makes me consider how totally committed to an opinion someone can become when they are convinced (even with magic!) to believe a certain viewpoint. There are lots of transformational events in the play, with key character Bottom, being given an ass’s head to reflect his foolery but as a local villager – getting to interact and have acceptance by Titania, Queen of the fairies and may be a reflection on the acceptance of change and a focus on message rather than the vehicle that brings the message. Throughout the play, the character of Puck is a devilish catalyst for the changes, often being instigator or at a least enabling supporter. Now I’m not saying he’s a good change manager as he does most things underhand and with mischief, but I do see him as a revolutionary catalyst for change that may shake things up significantly in good and bad ways but in so doing moves a group of people outside of their normal comfort zones with an end result of a better set up and greater appreciation of all players. I’m not a supporter of the activity generally, but sometime the end justifies the means – as long as there are no permanent casualties en route!

Let’s briefly move away from comedy and touch base on the gender changing roles within Shakespeare across all plays. We have the likes of Viola and Rosalind in As You Like It and Twelfth Night, Portia in the Merchant of Venice and to some degree Lady Macbeth, all assuming Male roles to assert a message and deal with a challenge faced within their world. I wouldn’t necessarily condone the lack of sexual equality – why does a woman have to be like a man to act this way – but let us not forget 400 years have passed since these stories formed. I would like to take the lesson that in order to enable, deliver or encourage a change, it is sometime necessary to take on a somewhat different role or persona to normal. I have many a time had to summon up the energy to perform a part in front of a town hall meeting to rally the assembled masses on to “the train” before they get left behind. The change is coming and I need to appeal to their needs to get buy-in and show myself as a role model that they can relate to, using their language and terminology to engage trust and respect. For me this normally exhausts me after the event but the performance is normally such that I get the groups convinced of the next steps and heading in the right direction, not unlike the character mentioned above!

The Shakespearean kings are generally much darker storylines and some of their transformations tend to me much more final. However, for most of them there is a transformation of mindset, whether it’s Lear’s slow disintegration into madness or the single minded need for revenge in Hamlet and Macbeth. It’s a reflection of how circumstance turns a mind to think or react differently and in so doing become an integral part of the way a person acts or does things. Consider how we encourage the integration, absorption or total acceptance of a new or different way of doing things within the change management world. Is it a fair reflection to say that sometime we drive folks crazy or slightly unhinged with our desire to get them on board with the new? I wonder if we should have more exit routes available to the establishment that provides a safer end result for those who struggle with doing different or accepting the new, before they sink into a Shakespearean mind storm.

My final reference comes from the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet. Now I could relate the houses of Capulet and Montague to most merger and acquisitions. Interestingly the reactions of members of each house reflect the general mix of reaction for any merger – some good, some bad, some totally sure they can sabotage the idea. But I wanted to reflect on the sad result at the end of the play, caused through lack of good communication. If only they had shared their plans there may well have been a different outcome, but its perhaps the fact that as an audience, you know the tragic irony of the outcome of the story from the prologue, and you are just watching the story unfold. How many times have you considered a change management plan, applied all elements and then realised you knew what was going to happen all along? Far too many times. However, it is wrong to assume from the outset what the result will be and great communication can challenge that expectation.

I am sure there are many more change management references within the tenets of Shakespeare – I have but scraped the surface here. I may return to this at a future time. For me the biggest take away from this is for people to realise that change has been dealt with by people for many years and is not some new thing! Perhaps we now label and categorise differently and my reflection of Shakespearean prose is not a direct historical reflection but does support the time honoured tradition of dealing with change successfully or not – “To be or not to be, that is the question”.