Change Management Storytelling: Don’t be a Change Doctor be a Change Nurse.

Change Management needs more than a knowledge dump.

This is about that little insight I had in managing a successful Change Management Storytelling Programme and for anyone who is about to manage change here is my insight for you.

A typical change project is managed like this, you put together a pretty power point filled with slides  and you start the “Change Academy”  where all you are doing is providing knowledge on why change matters. Do we really think the problem is in lack of knowledge?

A classic example of this is telling an overweight person. Shedding weight is good for you and here is some knowledge on why. Result.. they remain overweight.

*John Kotter, an organizational change specialist say that most people think change happens in three stages.

You Analyze the Situation

You think really hard about the Solution

And then you just Change


In John Kotter’s experience it’s a different three-stage process:

People SEE something

That makes them FEEL something

That gives them the fire to Change Management Storytelling CHANGE.

Now, what is interesting is the insight of the Fire to Change.

Knowledge on Change fails to ignite the Change fire.

Feelings on Change ignites the Change fire. 

I often use an analogy that helps people understand this concept better

In a healthcare environment we find Doctors and Nurses.

A Medical Doctor (also called a physician) is a person who practices medicine to treat illness and injuries.

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities

Doctors treat and Nurses Care.

In a Change situation what Nurses do matters more than what Doctors do because we need people to be motivated for the Change.

Don’t be a Change Doctor who diagnosis the problem and treats, but be the Change Nurse who not only gives you the drug on time but finds a meaning in your feelings and cares for you to become better.

You can watch this 2 mins 49 secs video on how we used this insight of managing feelings with stories and equipped close to 200 people’s leaders of a large Telecomms firm in managing the change.

Learn More about Change Management Storytelling

*Switch : Dan and Chip Heath


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"I attended your story telling course some time back. And I've enjoyed keeping up my knowledge with your blog. You may not have realised however, that the Whole of Government is implementing Internet Seperation. Hence I'm not able to access the links to read your articles. Could I suggest including a QR code in your emails so that I can use my mobile to scan it and gain immediate access to the article? It would be most helpful"