My undergraduate degree in physical education taught me to differentiate drills for skill development based on three variables:
For example, in teaching someone to dribble a basketball, a beginner might stand in place and slowly dribble the ball.
We could increase the complexity by having them walk forward or change directions.
We could increase speed by having them move more quickly.
We could increase intensity by having a passive defender shadow them or an active defender try and steal the ball.
These aspects of differentiation can be applied to leading change. We can decrease or increase complexity, speed, and intensity to meet the capacity of the organization and its people. I rarely see organizations ask too little during change initiatives. Most of the time we try and do too much (complexity), too quickly (speed), without attending to roadblocks (intensity).
Change initiatives often fail because we don’t make sure that people master one step before moving to the next, because we follow strict timelines that don’t account for external and internal forces, and because we undermine the importance of the effort by adding it on top of everything else.
If your Big Change initiative is foundering, consider changing the variables.
Do good and be well,