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Trainer’s Tip: Change management exercise


QUESTION MARKChange management is no doubt going to be a hot topic for the uncertain year ahead. This simple exercise, from Jan Springthorpe, helps managers experience how it feels to have change inflicted upon them, and explore those, often uncomfortable, feelings.

Here is a very simple exercise that I have used with great success. It assumes that people are seated in groups (eg cabaret style).

As they arrive for the workshop ask them all to pick up an envelope on the way in. On the outside of the envelope it says Do not open until told to do so. Inside is a coloured card. use a different colour for each group layout, and have the same number of coloured cards as there are delegates.

Let people sit where they want to sit - usually with mates etc. Then, when they are settled ask them to open the envelopes, find all the other people who have the same colour card and re-group.

This is followed by a discussion about how it feels to have change imposed on you, what element of choice they had about the change, how they feel about the new groupings they are in etc. You can take it anywhere you want to.

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Change exercise

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