Change, and Change Management, is really as simple as a camping trip.
For both you have destination, journey to get there and skills needed.
For both you will have to do some planning and some packing.
For both if you misjudge the destination, underestimate the journey and/or leave the present missing a few talents danger could await.
For the Camping Trip:
The easy part is the weather. You can get numbers for temperature range and extremes in either direction.
If you can only carry so much there may be a risk factor in the amount of protection you bring.
It is your camping trip so you probably picked the destination. That pick and visualizing being at that spot is helping your energy level and participation.
You can “see” the end- that might be the best part about this trip.
The length of the journey, the difficulty of the trip will dictate what you bring, what is needed and what you might be missing.
Some planning will go into gathering those things you need for your destination and the trip to get there.
If you were not sure of the destination figuring out the journey might be tough. If the journey has peril just starting may not be a good idea (yet think of the trips that start on a whim… and then think of what happens as a result).
Journeys are exciting (for the planning and for the need to adapt along the way). The journey may be the best part, for you, of this camping thing.
That “just leaving with no Idea about the end or the journey” might be ok if you are loaded with skills for success.
Environments tend to test skills beyond our capability. Knowing that and making sure you list the skills needed and then get as good at them as possible before leaving will make for a more enjoyable and reinforcing trip.
Maybe the getting ready by getting better is your favorite piece of this camping thing?
For that Change you are Thinking of:
This is just a REALLY complicated camping trip.
If you have no idea what this is then what is the point?
Or perhaps you are changing reactively?
Take the time, as you did for that camping trip, to figure out what the destination will be like. In this change version you will be there awhile (camping you have to plan for and expect to, return). Without that view and understanding of the end state the next two categories are going to be DIFFICULT.
How are you going to communicate ahead of the work? Just like camping how are you going to make sure those with you are ready?
Are you taking time to enjoy the scenery? Is the journey (maybe for your organization as a whole) just as important as the goals? What is likely to happen along the way? Long real camping trips can have their ups and downs, maybe you get tired, maybe the expedition team argues a little, maybe decisions need to be made and plans were not put in place to finalize them.
Planned, packaged process can be as bad or worse than unplanned. Are you going to cookie-cut your way along the trail with some old fashioned template version for handing change? Or are you suiting up in Gore-Tex for a light, warm, enjoyable adventure?
Process becomes journey as soon as you start task, when it comes to change. Be comfortable with your chosen process, but be ready to ask why and adapt. (There is a blizzard around the corner believe me).
Change in organizations requires more than skill.
It calls for skills built on top of each other to create competency (see above process often involves multiple skills). Do you really have the competencies you need to make it to the end state along whatever path you choose? You might need a guide? Maybe someone who has been to that place, or one similar, and better has helped others get there? (and HUGE hint here- you want the guide who says, “last time we did this, this time it would make sense to do this… or add this… or look at it that way”).
Remember with this camping trip you are not coming back. So you plan for the competencies you will need at the end state. If this will be a long journey, maybe a transformational trip, there may be some competencies you need just for the travel there.