‘the chick does not break the egg out of hatred for the shell – it does so out of a desire to walk under a wider heaven’

a brown egg is cracked and through the small hole you can see the beak of a chick beginning to break out

Here’s a little exercise I developed nearly twenty years ago, useful for any kind of change where you have some vision or outcome which resonates.

– Share the vision with the group
– Ask ‘if we are here in one year, doing the post-mortem, because we failed to make this happen, what barriers or obstacles will we identify as the reasons we failed?’

Everyone writes one barrier or obstacle per post-it note, identifying why the project is going to fail.

Then, you categorise the barriers, together:

– brick walls are immovable things in the world that we can’t change; we have to work around
– partition walls are solid – we have to have top-level support or team effort to overcome them
– paper walls *look* like walls – but if you test them, an individual can go right through
– mindset issues require us to rethink and innovate

The exercise helps you identify where real work is required, identify risks, and is a cathartic whingefest which lets people process their expectations of failure – and then get on with succeeding.

Download the full exercise here: https://bit.ly/breakingtheshell – and please credit the work, and tell me how you get on! Credits: – quote at start is from an early draft of The Rainbow by DH Lawrence, when under the influence of Bertrand Russell, according to Ray Monk for the biography of Russell – the exercise was derived from a ‘four walls’ customer service exercise at www.squarewheels.com – image www.pxfuel.com

What’s your favourite tip for successful change?


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