My gift: A love letter to employees around the world.

Love Letter

We believe the fastest, most effective path to successfully implementing change or deploying a strategy starts with empathy.

Many clients reach out to us, eagerly announcing they have a clarity problem. “If only our people understood the new strategy, we’d surely succeed!” Over 25+ years XPLANEing and building understanding, we’ve realized there are many other reasons (besides lack of clarity) why people don’t change. In fact, there are 36 more reasons. We’ve just published our thinking in a card deck called Barriers to Change.


Here’s how to play:

First, get together employees who will be affected by a change.

Then, ask them to divide the cards, quote side up, into two stacks: quotes that ring true to them, and quotes that don’t apply to them.

Have them set the “false” stack aside and focus on the “true” stack. Ask them to pick the five cards that represent their biggest barriers to the change.

Now flip the five cards over. These are their biggest barriers—and they might not be what you anticipated! Look at the color of the card—do several cards have the same color? This means you can focus on one category (problem alignment, solution alignment, interpersonal, the unknown, engagement, execution). If they are all different colors you have several leverage points for lowering barriers to change.

Want to play? The deck is available for sale at our store or let us know if you’re interested in learning more.

Show your employees you love and respect them. Tell them, “I don’t want to change you—I want to understand you and build the future together.”

What are your biggest barriers to organizational transformation? Join our Organizational Adulting discussions and get insights that lead to better ways of working.