1. HOW TO LEAD
THE **** OUT OF CHANGE
A toolkit to make ideas happen
Created by Melissa Dutmers
IDEA CONNECT MARKET
2. ARE YOU
Make ideas actually happen? Take
an idea from spark through to
implementation? Make a big bold
change in your organization? Bring an
innovative idea to the forefront and turn
it into a reality?
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It contains elements from a multitude of disciplines, including influence
theory, ethnography, systems thinking, neuroscience, design thinking,
change management, leadership, horsemanship, Buddhism, and so on.
Beneath the ‘how to’ practices in this book lies an insistence on the
value of interdisciplinary thinking, and the assertion that human-
centered design, as a way of solving problems and leading change to
realize results, should take high priority in both the structure, values,
and culture of an organization.
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4. WHY LEARN
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of
ideas. What’s missing is an awareness,
a consciousness, to make ideas happen.
Learning to lead change is about making
ideas happen–transforming ideas into
actionable steps. It can help you see a
path from spark to implementation. It can
increase the speed and effectiveness of
creating change that matters.
Let’s get started.
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5. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION
How to use this toolkit
PART 1: SETTING THE STAGE
The Surface Level Formula
The Overview: Idea+Connect+Market Methodology
PART 2: IDEA SHAPING
PART 3. IDEA CONNECTION
Create + Prototype
Part 4. Idea to Market
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It’s clear to me that making ideas happen and leading change is the most
important skill—for organizations, governments, communities, and as
individuals. So I’m fascinated by change.
What you must I used to think that realizing successful
do is create change was about securing executive
sponsorship, creating a ‘burning platform’,
generous art, building a guiding coalition, and following
gifts that change a structured change management process
(plus a slew of other “best practices”).
people, connect B-O-R-I-N-G corporate speak.
with people, lead
Yes, leading change is all that business jargon, and it’s so much more! I assure
with people, you, this book is not yet another conventional book on change management
make change that that regurgitates what’s already been written, and written again, and again,
matters. and again...
Seth Godin on Being Indespensable, This book imbues much needed creativity into a stagnant field of change
management, injects a big dose of collaboration into what it means to lead
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7. If you’re change, and infuses some serious moxie in how to make ideas happen and
lead change in the real world. This book is not a compilation of academic
looking for theory and corporate speak and I have no intention of delivering you a huge
conventional binder of templates and assessments that you’ll never look at again. I’m
prose on going to deliver you a book that shows you how to take your ideas from spark
through to implementation and teach you how to think critically and use your
leading change, intuition (right brain + left brain) to connect and inspire as you go. If you’re
read Kotter. looking for conventional prose on leading change, read Kotter.
Leading Change by John P. Kotter is one of the most important change
management books ever. And it’s a great start. But it’s only a start.
I’m not saying that the field of change management doesn’t matter. It does.
I’m just saying that most changes require a much deeper understanding of
what it takes to connect with the people. Leading change is about assembling
and connecting, listening and designing, and interacting with a group of
people on a mission. Leading change is creating a movement.
The activities and outcomes in this process are exploratory with the intent
to uncover the best way to design an idea, to design a change, so that those
impacted or those targeted actually want to experience the solution. This is
the big difference between conventional change management thinking and
what I propose here. I don’t want to deliver you a process where a primary
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8. deliverable is, “Create a Resistance Management and Corrective Action Plan.”
That is one of the silliest pieces of business jargon. The idea of resistance
management is that people only change when they’re scared. But fear, as
an emotion, creates tunnel vision. Tunnel vision is devastating in times of
change. Fear is the worst motivator because it makes people dig their heals
in and work harder at what they did in the past.
The foundation of this process is a fundamental belief that we can design
change, design ideas, that people understand, talk about, willingly adopt, and
even celebrate. Get the change right, get the design right, and the people will
When I started writing down my How to Lead Change process,
I knew I wanted to share the steps with people who wanted an
unconventional perspective, a deeper look, and a fresh holistic
view on how to realize successful change.
I hope to show how leading change can be extended in new ways to impact
changes that are equal to the challenges we face. That’s my challenge. That’s
your challenge. That’s our challenge. The leaders will be those that figure it
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9. Leading change, taking ideas from spark through to implementation, is a
creative process that takes practice. I’ve come to realize that I have created
a resource for anyone who has an idea or sees a need for change to do
something about it. Any project. Any business. Any undertaking.
The material is geared towards businesses of all sizes, but it’s applicable to
non-profits, governments, ANYONE trying to transition from thinking about
an idea to actually making it happen. This book is for anyone who chooses
to lead change. The possibilities are huge.
Innovation always falls right between the
BIG IDEA and the ability to put that idea
into action. idea couture
You’re holding, in your hands —or your hard drive — a tool. A tool to lead the
**** out of change. Go forth and be remarkable. We need you.
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10. HOW TO USE THIS TOOLKIT
This process is broken into a set of phases and tools. This is so you can pick
and choose what works best for your context and situation. Use it alone or
along with other methods you use in your organization.
There is no “one best way” to move through this process. There are useful
starting points and helpful landmarks along the way, but the continuum of
leading change is best thought of as system of overlapping spaces rather
than a sequence of orderly steps. The reason for the iterative, nonlinear
nature of leading change is not that I’m encouraging you to be disorganized
or undisciplined but that leading change is fundamentally an exploratory
creative process: done right, you will make unexpected discoveries along the
way, and it would be foolish not to find out where they lead. For example,
you may choose to pilot an idea, you may come across insights that inspire
you to rethink and refine your assumptions rather than press onward in
adherence to the original plan. Consider this story and you choose how to
use this toolkit....
My horse riding coach always says to me,
“You’ve got to feel it!”
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11. In other words, she’s telling me that not everything can be spelled out in
black and white when you’re working with horses — you’ve got to feel it!
The same holds true for leading
change. You can read volumes
of books on riding horses or
leading change and still not
have a clue. No one can teach
you how to feel it. You have to
figure it out. The good news is
that time in the saddle helps,
mistakes teach, practice works.
Hard work leads to competence.
Competence leads to self
confidence. And then you begin
to trust yourself and the light in
your eyes gets brighter and you
get really good at what you’re
doing. And so it goes, you take
on tougher challenges, bigger
change, and as a student of life, you pay attention. You practice. You observe.
You fail. You blow it. You adjust. And you go on livin’ and learnin’ and you get
more courageous every day.
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12. IN CASE WE HAVEN’T MET BEFORE
A quick introduction.
You can read a longer version here, but in short, I am a writer and
entrepreneur. I’m happily married to ‘the fisherman’ and we live in a lovely
town called Fort Collins, located on the front range of the Colorado Rocky
Mountains. When I’m not online or riding my horse, Mr. Pi, I enjoy dining
in Old Town, sipping New Belgium brews, playing with our dogs, running,
admiring old barns, and well, just livin’.
Prior to founding RIVERFORK, I worked deep in the guts of the high-tech
corporate world for 15 years. I’ve also taught change management courses
for training and consulting firms, which is part of the reason I started my
company. I wanted to help people lead change in work+life — better.
My mission now is to help people design+manage+lead change in their work
& life on their own lovely, messy, courageous terms! If we haven’t connected
before, I’d love for you to join me on this journey.
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13. THE OVERVIEW
Recall what I noted earlier about how to use this toolkit. Although the
overview picture on the following page is linear, open up your mind and
think of it as a map of helpful landmarks. Use these beacons as a compass
to see where you’re at and where you need to be. Don’t get hung up on ‘the
process.’ Sometimes you’ll revisit spots. Other times you will skip steps. Allow
yourself the freedom to make unexpected discoveries along the way. Use this
toolkit in conjunction with other tools that work for you. Fold these ideas
into your quiver of tools. Leading the **** out of change starts with a spark,
a hunch, and is broken down into three phases:
1) Idea Shaping: the idea or change that motivates a search for a
solution; the steps to get your idea in front of the right people and to
shape your story in a way that inspires decision makers to care.
2) Idea Connection: the process to establish deep, holistic
understanding of your customers; to visualize possibilities, design,
prototype, and refine solutions to match people’s needs with what is
feasible and viable.
3) Idea to Market: the path that leads from the project room to
the customers; the steps to bring your idea to reality and to lead the
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14. THE OVERVIEW
IDEA CONNECT MARKET
Identify Hear Implement
Understand Create Monitor
Shape Pilot Reinforce
Approve Plan Sustain
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