When I was a young boy a monk explained to me the meaning of life, it was a beautifully simple story and has stayed with me ever since. Now I am not a regular church goer but I am not a complete atheist either. There are still many things that we humans cannot explain and until we can, the concept of something bigger than us, in my opinion, needs always to be considered. However back to my story…

“Life” the monk said “is like a journey that we all must travel. It’s not a long straight road but more like a river twisting and turning its way onwards. At each bend there is a new beginning, sometimes they come unexpectedly, other times you see them from a long way off. And God” The Monk said “Is sitting high up in a tree on each bend in the river. He’s can see you coming, way before you even know a bend is there. And he can see you paddling through the rough waters of the change and he can see what will happen to you once you turn into the next straight. And one day you’ll be on the home straight and you will know, you will feel it somewhere deep inside you”.

I liked this image of God in the tree and the river, it reassured me on my way. However, when I was forced into changes that I really didn’t want, I always forgot the monk’s story. Except once. At one part in my life, when things were not going at all well, I came across a group of people who understood and helped me through the turbulent waters. The group were called the Quakers.

Now you may be wondering why I am writing all this in a blog about change management. It’s simple. When a business goes through rapid change, its employees all experience the change differently. For some it is a minor thing, just a small bend in the river. While for others it can be the worst kind of white water they have ever seen. Perhaps they thought they were on the home straight and suddenly they find that everything is uncertain and their plans for the future all thrown into doubt?

A great change manager, needs to be on the ground with their clients, advising them of the most effective route, but they also need to stay in the tree too; keeping everything in perspective. But Change Managers are not God, they cannot know for certain what will be. They can, however (and must) build a powerful vision of why the white waters of change are needed and worth all the effort of traversing.

Have a good week,