Change. Everybody wants it, everybody resists it.
Every change program in every corporation around the world is dreamed about, planned, organized, communicated and….. for the most part, fails.
"Riding Currents of Change" is the story of a consultant, Michael, and his client, Jim, and how they rode currents of change in a transformation program that ended up succeeding.
It is rare enough for operational consultants and clients to end up being friends and having a story they wanted to share.
"Riding Currents of Change" is about all the forces within the people affected by the change program to both help and hinder the success of the project. Jim and Michael identified real forces: Purpose-driven thinking vs. letting serendipity opening minds; Intuitive vs Analytical thinking and how both have good and bad impacts on managing change; the styles of some managers as change happens based on what they hope is in it for themselves.
All of this told through the story of a singular event in the history of mankind and our planet: when Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago River because people could die every spring if there was flooding or abnormal rains.
Jim and Michael compare how change programs, whether going against Mother Nature or just something that sounds as simple as eliminating hand-offs between departments can create the same excitement or fear as reversing the flow of a river.
Robert Frost wrote of "The Road Not Taken" and that vision is used to explain how Michael had to discover in the managers why they had not taken the road that would make change happen.
The roles that must be played by different actors in the change progress are described as they were used in their transformation story as a tool for others to consider when faced with major transformation projects.
"Riding Currents of Change" even deals with the subject of how important the choices of words and labels can be in the chapter on Football vs Football, a whimsical yet serious look at how a rose isn't necessarily a rose by any other name, apologies to Will.
"Riding Currents of Change" is written conversationally and, at times, like with whitewater rafting, goes all over the place, just like any change management program, so the reader can get a grasp of how all those forces can come into play.
"Riding Currents of Change" should give the reader enough of an insight into how change happens to help make whatever they want to change in the future smooth sailing.