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Turning Complaints into a Powerful Change Backlog: A Guide for Business Leaders
How to Leverage Collective Intelligence for Effective Change Management
Today, we're going to explore a fascinating topic that resonates with many business executives - creating a robust and practical change backlog within your organization.
Our focus today is not merely on creating a change backlog; it's about doing so in a manner that is inclusive, practical, clear, and actionable. We believe in the power of collective intelligence, and that's why today's session is all about leveraging the hidden creativity within your teams to create an effective change backlog.
Let's start with a simple truth. We humans are experts at complaining. It's often much easier to identify and articulate what's wrong than to come up with new and innovative ideas. But here's the kicker: that very propensity to complain can be turned into a powerful tool for change. So, let your teams complain, but don't stop there. Ask them: "What would you do about it?"
This approach helps in two ways. Firstly, it empowers your teams to be part of the solution, creating a strong sense of ownership and commitment. Secondly, it transforms your problem statements into opportunities for growth and innovation.
But how do you go about this?
The first step is ideation. This is where you allow your teams to think freely, identify obstacles, and brainstorm potential solutions. A great tool for this is the "Celebration 5W" workshop, a creation of Mike Burrows from Agendashift. This workshop encourages participants to envision a future celebration of a significant accomplishment and then work backwards to understand what it would take to get there.
The next tool in our arsenal is the "15-Minute FOTO" – another gem from Mike Burrows. This exercise allows participants to delve deeper into the obstacles identified during the ideation phase. The idea is to use the obstacles as a springboard for developing outcomes.
Once you have a plethora of ideas, it's time to organize and prioritize. One effective method is a World Café-style workshop. This liberating structure allows everyone to contribute to the ideas and helps in creating a shared understanding. You end up with actionable cards that reflect the collective intelligence of your organization, ready for prioritization and execution.
But remember, the goal is to create a change backlog that your teams can own and commit to. So, don't just use these tools and processes to come up with ideas. Involve your teams in every step of the process, right down to the final refinement of ideas. The sense of ownership and commitment they develop will be your biggest ally in driving change.
So, remember, business leaders, the key to creating an effective change backlog is to leverage your team's propensity to complain, channel it into ideation, and then use structured and inclusive processes to refine and prioritize these ideas.
Channelling complaints into solution-oriented discussions can be a powerful tool for change.
Tools like Celebration 5W and 15-Minute FOTO can help in ideation and obstacle analysis.
World Café-style workshops can help in organizing and prioritizing ideas.
Involving your teams in every step of the process fosters ownership and commitment.
The key to effective change management is leveraging collective intelligence and ensuring inclusivity.
We’ve just finished a rather excellent podcast with Riccardo on this. Click here
to grab hold of that.
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