I like using the « Change Journey » as a tool to let people collectively decide what are the most important topics to deal with in the their context. The tools helps in a non directive way to think about a variety of questions, questions you wouldn’t think about perhaps if you weren’t guided by such a tool. You could consider the tool as a simple course about change facilitation as it addresses most of the basic questions.
Recently, I was asked to host a workshop for one afternoon with people who attended a permaculture class. I didn’t have direct contact on beforehand with the group, it was just the lecturer of the class who asked me to use the tool as he thought it could be useful (he knew the tool and had been impressed by it). Permaculture is as much about human design as design of nature. So it could be helpful for the people attending the class to get to now some collective intelligence (CI) tools.
I will share with you some outputs of this workshop, which in my perception wasn’t a success.
Don’t use a collective intelligence tool as long as the collective sensibility is not present
The majority of the people attending the class were either very young or didn’t have an experience of team work. They were more concerned by their individual journey than by a collective journey. Experimenting a CI tool doesn’t mean anything in this context. A preliminary would have been to first raise the collective maturity.
The tool addresses too much cognitive dimensions
The questions from the places come over for certain people as very cognitive (or theoretical). For people who are more grounded in the ‘senses’ or more pragmatic, questions addressing these dimensions could be added. We could add places like « The Kitchen », « The Workshop », « The Zen Room », etc.
Add a place for new places
A good suggestion is to add an ‘empty’ place, where people can add themselves a place they would like to visit. I think it is a good (and easy) idea and would stimulate further the collective imagination.
Vocabulary triggers imagination
The words we use not only triggers imagination, in one way or the other, but can also trigger some negative emotions. The « Change Journey » has been initially developped for the business world, so some words derive from this world. One of the issues is that specific words like « leader », « profitability », etc. trigger negative emotions within the civil communities. It is not easy to find a ‘neutral’ wording, but more important, it shows that using the right words helps in creating a context you aim at.
Individual Change Journey
Again an excellent suggestion, why not develop a change journey for individual change ? Not for now, but if anyone feels for it, please let me know.
Know your public
I did a mistake by not questioning enough my contact person on the attendees. I could have understand that it was not the right tool (or the right moment). There are no tools that fit all contexts and as a host I should have been aware of it.
Sometimes, it is when things go ‘wrong’ that you learn the most. So I take this experience as a gift to me 🙂