If you read that headline out of context, you might guess that it was in reference to a carpe diem-type affirmation. Or perhaps you’d assume it was fodder for the optimist’s half-full glass? Either way, you’d be forgiven.

XPLANE recently sponsored the conference for the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) in Orlando, Florida. Our team of designers and strategists was thrilled to notice that self-reflection, co-creation, and visualization were a few central themes of the event!


Much of the dialogue around Change Management has historically focused on people, process, and technology, and while those cornerstones were still present at ACMP 2014, there was a much broader emphasis on ‘emergent’ change management, meaning blurring the boundaries between different disciplines to enable authentic conversation in the midst of uncertainty and ambiguity.

This was the core of discussion during the General Session Panel entitled, Change Management As a Profession – Where it Started, Where it is, and Where it’s going, with Daryl Conner, Luc Galoppin, and Dean Anderson, moderated by Donna Brighton.

One of the most evocative quotes from the panel was from Dean Anderson who, in response to Luc Galoppin’s call for change managers to be grounded and centered in themselves, Anderson pointed out the importance of being vulnerable. He said, “…if, at some point, you’re not lying on the floor of your office crying, you’re not doing your job”.

Memorable? Yes. Literal? Maybe.

Nonetheless, point taken, and counted as a victory for the ‘human’ element in the human-centered design approach that we champion at XPLANE. It was heartening for our team to witness the development of this dialogue because while an approach steeped in human behavior is emergent for Change Management, it is, and always has been, fundamental to Design.

While we don’t advocate for experiencing every frustration with tears, we do believe in the power of empathy. Co-creation and the act of visualizing or ‘seeing’ new possibilities through ambiguity cannot happen without empathy, without trust.

We evangelize empathy, co-creation, and visualization throughout the business world, and particularly in the change management profession. Welcome to the new world of convergence, folks. It’s about who you are and the experience you create.

Oh, and yes, one of the speakers did indeed mention being grounded and centered. Thought you only heard that in yoga class? Think again.