Writing Your Own Story of Change
Think of a change that you have experienced, in either your work or personal life. Write a story about that experience. Here is a definition of a story to help you:
A story expresses how and why life changes. It begins with a situation in which life is relatively in balance: You come to work day after day, week after week, and everything’s fine. You expect it will go on that way. But then there’s an event – in screen-writing, we call it the “inciting incident” that throws life out of balance. You get a new job, or the boss dies of a heart attack, or a big customer threatens to leave. The story goes on to describe how, in an effort to restore balance, the protagonist’s subjective expectations crash into an uncooperative objective reality. A good storyteller describes what it’s like to deal with these opposing forces, calling on the protagonist to dig deeper, work with scare resources, make difficult decisions, take action despite risks, and ultimately discover the truth (McKee, 2003, p. 52)
Write down your experience of change in about 1-2 pages. Then answer these questions:
- What made this experience a “story”?
- What lessons for managing change can you take from your story?
- Compare these with the lessons from the case studies in Chapter One. Which are the same?
- What three conclusions can you take from these stories about managing change?
- From your experience, what new lessons have you added, particularly for future changes in which you might be involved?