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Genesis of The Change Playbook

How the change playbook came to be

What is The Change Playbook... What IS a Playbook

This website and program represent a practical playbook. Plays are set pieces that specify the coordinated execution of team member actions. Their lowest level, Moves, are the actions that contributors take through sequential steps to achieve change goals. This Playbook is just enough of a recipe book for people to act, knowing what to do and what will come of it. At its best, it allows flexibility in choice and execution.

Leadership coaching

Hopefully the Playbook paints a picture of action: how to start, what to do, what to expect, how to react, and how to finish the many component elements of leading and performing change management. These components cover the breadth of communication, training, coaching, maintaining sponsorship support, developing material, and so on.

Change management training

The Playbook is NOT management training of any sort and the user would benefit from change management training. But, the nature of the Playbook is such that it’s not essential. Nor is the Playbook is a compendium of templates, questionnaires, presentations, and information gathering/analysis worksheets. The problem is not tools or templates. (It rarely is.) In any case, having a hammer doesn’t make you a carpenter nor will you be able to screw together two pieces of lumber. More to the point, there are a lot of moving parts to change management that tools and templates can’t address.[1]

Tools and templates, for the experienced and able, are time-saving devices. They create efficiency by eliminating repetition. Anything repeated regularly should be systematized once, properly, and thoughtfully. The template sets one down the path of the work that needs to be done, and the tools perform some of the labourious work. For the aware and capable, these create efficiency (moving fast) and efficacy (not missing something important).

Unfortunately, leaning on tools and templates can turn them into a substitute for understanding and ability. They might even become a hinderance. (Who hasn’t lived through the ‘Why do we even have to fill out this…” situation?) The experienced ignore irrelevant aspects of standard tools; those without experience obsess on making the template or tool “fit”…. Most insidiously, tools eventually create a false sense of confidence that you have it all together even if you do not.

Some templates are provided, but if you are in a large organization you probably have access to your own. If you don’t, you’re welcome to these. Be aware that like any others you could find, the templates and tools available here are simple and don’t do much you couldn’t do with lined paper and a pen.

This Playbook is not really a strategy. We provide some strategic combinations and directions. But strategy is inherently situational. A prepackaged strategy is not worth what you paid for it.

Nor is the Playbook meant to replace skills or trained people.

Preparation for change

The Playbook is about action, about practice, about making things happen. Before you can ad lib you have to be prepared and have experience with set pieces. That’s what this Playbook provides.

[1]   There are many change management tool and template providers. Some are reputable; others questionable. An internet search will turn up both.

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