When working with people, teams or organizations on change, I have often come across displays of various challenges. Some are easy to read while others are more subtle or even hidden below the surface. Typically, these challenges comes within all kinds of contexts – some are personal and some are more culturally or organizationally driven. Mark Robinson, Managing Director of St Andrews Lean Consulting, has visualized such challenges in “the wall of excuses”.
I have used this visualization myself when addressing change challenges, and it works well as an eye-opener and a platform for honest discussions on the difficulties we face. On top of that, it is also humorous and serves as an icebreaker when closing in on the matters of subject. By the way, my personal favorite excuse is BOHICA. Yes, it’s an acronym. Yes, I’ll tell you what it stands for: Bend Over Here It Comes Again…
However, I have several times felt the need to free up some positive and creative energy after banging my head on the wall of excuses. In a presentation I held a few months back, I challenged the audience to use two minutes to counteract on all the reasons not to change, and see if it was just as easy to come up with reasons to “just do it”. Those two minutes were somewhat mind-blowing and I had to get hold of an extra flip chart to wall it all up. Together the audience actually created “the wall of opportunities”.
If you ever feel the need to turn heads around, then try this and see what happens.
– Svein Are Tjeldnes