Let’s face it…the room shakes every time those words roll off someone’s tongue.  It prompts suspense and tension.  Fear and confusion.  And it couldn’t be any more relevant today as 2013 begins its fade to black and 2014 lines up on the horizon to serve up even more challenges.

To say that most organizations are facing massive change in 2013 and beyond would be an embarrassing understatement.  We’re living in a ChangeAge where virtually every aspect of life and work is being re-shaped by the inexorable information revolution.


I just returned from Africa where change was palpably present.  I was working with 80 Christian leaders–from business, government and NGOs–who were engaging in serious discourse about where they were headed in their own personal life and where Kenya is going as a country.  For these guys, those two subjects are inextricably linked.  They are the men who will largely determine what happens to Kenya in the next 20 years.

With the daunting and seemingly impossible task of propelling an entire country to “the next level,” the ever-present change roadblock loomed large across every issue that landed on the table.

My task was to help them find a way past that roadblock.  After a few days drilling deep into myriad issues, I was convinced that the secret to transformational change of this magnitude–at least up front when leaders must get the process started, or lose the opportunity—is ENGAGEMENT, not change.

Here’s what I told the group:

Start an intentional process to ENGAGE on the key issues that will drive the future without having to declare acceptance of a “change plan.”  Their response was very positive and quickly led to a consensus/commitment to begin the ENGAGEMENT process.

Next up for them is to ask and answer these four key questions:


  1. Is there an idealized vision destination we can agree on?
  2. Can we identify the 3 things that are in the way of moving toward that destination?
  3. What must be done to START the process toward that end-state goal?
  4. What’s the ONE thing, even a small incremental step, that we can agree on to keep this engagement dialog open and moving forward?


The next time your organization is parked at the change gate, consider those four questions and commit to embarking on a strategic ENGAGEMENT journey.

If you regularly set aside time—even 75 minutes each week at lunch with a napkin for notes—you will start the tough journey toward transformation.

I can help you!  Go to www.yellowchairstrategy.com for more information.