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THE PEN &        BLOG  

A case for change: how visual facilitation helps leaders to navigate organisational transformation

"Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster" - Elon Musk

On a recent phone call with a client, their leadership team presented a challenge to us: they wanted to create change with a group of partners and be better aligned with their strategy and vision. The group was used to working in a certain way, which historically has proven fruitful, but on reflection of the presented data, it was evident that change was needed for their transformation. Our client required a tool to help empathically persuade, inspire and manage possible resistance and fears. Enter Visual Facilitation and Story-mapping!

When presenting a case for change with groups, it helps to go through a process of orientation, trust building and clarification, such as the stages in the Drexler-Sibbet model (DS, right). If group members are not happy with the way things are progressing, they'll move backwards into uncertainty and trust will need to be re-established. With the DS model. groups feel comfortable by moving back and forth through the stages until certainty and clarity has been reached and momentum is driving things forward.

A story-map can be created as a picture of success, to inspire the group into action, and capture the opportunities, challenges and goals they will face. Visual facilitation - the process of facilitating conversations and presenting them in words and pictures -can be implemented fairly early on in the process too, to help gather group feedback, concerns and commitments.

Visuals tap into the emotional parts of our mind and can help with storytelling and understanding, so when you're faced with change - especially in a group setting- it can be beneficial to present an high-level image for everyone to feel like they're in safe hands. The group will feel confident that their thoughts and ideas have been respected, thus allowing the latter actionable stages of the DS model to take place.

How does your organisation deal with change, and do you use visual tools to help facilitate the stages? Comment below!


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