The Change Map

Make Change stick with The Change Map!

If you struggle with change, and especially making change stick, then The Change Map may help.

The Change Map is a holistic ‘mental model’ of what change is, and what you need to do to make change happen.

Change can be frustrating to achieve. One person’s definition about change may not be the same as another person’s. Change also is a process, not a destination.

This is why the Change Map can come in handy. You can download the Change Map in pdf format here.

What is change?

The first challenge is defining change.

One problem is that humans, as research from the Johnson O’Connor Institute has shown are naturally hard-wired to be more or less tangible.

So your definition of ‘change’ may be ‘a new car’, while mine may be ‘a smoother ride’. The latter may, for example, be achieved without buying a new car.

We also work with longer and shorter time frames. Urgency for change may be higher for me than it is for you, for example.

How to do Change

Tangibility and time are just two examples where humans are different from each other.

But if defining Change is difficult enough, how about doing Change? Here’s where things get really tasty!

Our concept of change may go from the ‘easy’ to the ‘difficult’ – to the utter frustration of each other. Whether change is easy or difficult to achieve on a human level also differs in terms of our hardwired talents and the skills we have learnt in life. But there’s more.

If we want to make tangible change, then in some cases it can be quite easy. Let’s take an example to illustrate the point. Here’s a favorite:

– Wash the dishes

Simple right? (Please look at the Change Map). Human takes an action (Hand), washes the dishes, and a tangible outcome follows (clean dishes).

But wait.

What if the human needs to know how to use a dishwashing machine (this comes under System in the Map)? Or what if the human knows how to use the dishwashing machine, but is not confident in doing so?

Suddenly we start to get into trickier territory. Do we blame the human for a ‘bad attitude’? Do we excuse it as a ‘cultural factor’? Or is the person ‘guilty’ of lacking in values?

Do we hope to get a result by shouting and screaming? Or do we gently cajole or persuade? Or do we lead by example, and do the dishes ourselves, in the hope that the person will copy you next time?

Your attitude is your altitude… really?

Top salesman Zig Ziglar used to say that your attitude is your altitude.

We do agree. Though only up to a point.

Attitude is a combination of Heart and Head in our Change Map. It stands to reason that, if you put these two together, you can get change… right?

We say… sometimes.

Someone with a great attitude who, for example, may be poorly gifted at using machines, may not have such a great attitude when it comes to washing the dishes at home, even if he or she may be outstanding in the garden.

It’s a question, again, of talent.

Also, someone with a great attitude (Heart and Head) may not have developed the habits (Hand) yet to do the dishes above other tasks.

…Get the drift?

Change is not always simply a question of attitude.

Change does happen when…

Instead, we can only really be sure that change will happen when the three factors of HeadHeart and Hand are aligned.

If you want to see change happen yourself, and one of these factors are not ‘high’, then it may be holding you back from achieving your altitude.

Moreover, you could also be failing to achieve the tangible kind of outcomes that take place on the right hand side of the Change Map, that follow from these increasingly intangible factors of HeartHead and Hand on the left hand side of the map.

We’ll be looking at how you can do this consistently in a future post. In the meantime, please feel free to subscribe to our posts below or have a look at our training programme Engagement Factor that features this approach to change!