It’s freezing cold – but that’s due to the incessant air conditioning. The temperature outside is in the high 30s and it’s sticky. I mean, when you walk out through the doors the hot humid air hits you like a brick wall and within a minute the beads of perspiration are running down your back.
You see, we’re in a conference room at the Del Lago Golf Resort in Texas. The year is 1999. Around 100 of us are on a 7-day ‘Global Consultant’ induction (training) course. You see, we’re all new management consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers as it was then – PwC today.
The instructors and trainers have gotten us all to stand up and face one another in two lines. They give us some time, say 30 seconds, to observe the person standing in front of us. They encourage us to take in every detail of their appearance.
Next, it’s time for one set of people, (one of the lines,) to turn around and face the wall. The folks in the other line now have 30 seconds to change, say 5, things about their appearance. There’s some scuffing, tutting, frowning and then people start – and they do obvious things. We remove one shoe, the glasses on our faces, perhaps we undo one of the buttons on the shirt, girls remove the hair band, you get the gist.
Time is up. Time for the second group to turn back to face us and they have 30 seconds to spot the things we’ve changed. Then it’s their turn and the whole exercise is repeated.
But then the fun really starts. After each team has taken a turn, it’s back to the first team to change 10 more things about their appearance. At this point, when we’re told to change that many more things, there really is a lot of anxiety in the room. Audibly so!
You know, somehow you manage it. And you get creative. You move a ring to a different finger. You button your shirt up wrong. You change the way your shoe is laced up. etc. etc.
If you’ve done this exercise yourself, you know it’s a very effective teaching aid for getting across the message that change gets easier the more you do it.
So here’s the point. Doing something new (like blogging for 30 days straight,) changing a long-standing habit or a firmly-held believe IS possible. So is changing organizational culture. All change is possible and it gets easier the more you do it – so there’s hope 😉
I would love you to share your stories. So leave a comment below or join the discussion on Twitter. Remember to use the hashtag: #CHA30DayChallenge
Thanks for stopping by and see you for more tomorrow friends!
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