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Seb Anthony

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excerises for leading change


Hi everybody,

I know this subject has been covered lots of times, but i am wondering has anyone got an icebreaker for dealing with change- I want something that will take people out of their comfort zone , the main thing is they all know each other, so making them sit beside someone thats not a friend would not be so difficult for them..any help please thanks guys
bernie hennigan

4 Responses

  1. have you done this one
    1. Get the perticipants to stand in two row facing each other
    2. Get each person to look closely at the person facing them and note everything they can about their appearance
    3. Tell the rows to turn away from each other back to back
    4. Everyone now has to make a change to their appearance; eg move a ring from one hand to the other, remove their tie, let down/put up their hair.
    5. Turn to face each other again
    6. Each person to identify the change made by their oppo.
    Change learning point; some changes are more obvious than others, some changes are invisible to all but the subject, some changes are big and some are small, it is easier to spot a change in something you know than in something you aren’t familiar with. (this latter is why as senior managers wedon’t see the point about complaints regarding a trifling matter but to someone who lives with it on a daily basis it is a big issue)
    7. Get the delegates to take their seats and begin the business of the day
    8. Later, at a suitable point, ask for a show of hands as to who has reverted their change to the previous status quo……they will pretty much all have!
    Change learning point: Change is not comfortable and we tend to revert to the status quo if we can!

    I hope this helps

  2. any more?
    Thank Rus for your comment- yes i have ran that excerise before but we feel it didnt take them out of their comfort zone enough for them to get a real sense of change?

    have anyone got any others please?

  3. other ideas for simple change illustration
    Hi Bernie – depending upon the time slot in the programme I have found the following to be useful – having been established in their places for some time – during a break change the physical set up of the room so that they have i.e. move tables, reverse chairs, etc. If it’s difficult to physically move furniture I have had some powerful results by just simply getting everyone to ‘move along’ one space. Both approaches provide some great learning and the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. To recommend something that would ‘really push their comfort zones’ it would be good to know more about what you want to achieve and the context of the exercise.

  4. another couple of ideas
    1. We normally sit down around/along a table in a training event….
    try an unusual furnature layout….sofa and coffee table….no tables….no chairs.
    2. Get the chairs taken out of the room during a breakout exercise or a coffee break.
    3. Start with the delegates is set groups and then as you go through the day move some people around to different groups.
    4. Give an exercise instruction and then change it part way into the exercise.
    5. Allocate roles and responsibilities that turn their normal hierarchy on its head….the MD ges the coffees in whilst the young apprentice is the team leader.


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