If we don’t transform our mindsets, we risk our very survival

By Bill Poole

Part 1 of 4

The raging winds of the Great Change sweeping across our world threaten to turn our once stable, vibrant economic landscape into a desert of withering growth, parched profits, barren business models, nervous leaders, and an anxious workforce.  Some companies did not anticipate and adjust to this complex climate and have been buried in the sands of history forever. Others were ready for the Great Change (or fortunate to be in the right industry) and were positioned to thrive through the chaos. To make matters less predictable, manyemployees are coming face to face with what is most important to them and joining the Great Resignation trend contemplating career moves.

Now what? If we don’t transform the way we think, the way we do business, and the way we go to market, the next Great Change will usher us into irrelevance and extinction.  The same companies who were fortunate to be in the right industry paradoxically may be the very ones most vulnerable to the next Great Change. Just as a human virus can lock down the world in a pandemic, a digital virus could also put swaths of the world at risk in an instant.

Anticipating this economic and sociological tipping point, Journey to Newland: A Road Map for Transformational Change was written as a change leadership solution to prepare global leaders and organizations for ‘the Great Change.’ The journey takes place in symbolic places like Oldland, the place you want to leave in the past, and Newland, the eventual place your company wants to work toward creating.

Coke Consolidated was one of the first trailblazing pioneers to fully utilize the Journey to Newland solution (J2N) during a seismic shift in their industry. “The Journey to Newland metaphor was our mantra for change and enabled us to begin coaching and developing our employees to think about change in a positive way, says Kevin Henry, the executive leader of Coke Consolidated’s transformational change. “The journey from Oldland to Newland is exactly where we were!”

Since those groundbreaking days, J2N Global has a track record of helping transform organizations from the Americas to Asia through the 2008 financial crises, the COVID pandemic, and many changes in between.

If You’re Not Leading Change, You’re History

In the Journey to Newland narrative, the inhabitants of Oldland faced the fear and uncertainty of the Great Change. The change leader warns the inhabitants: “It pains me to say it…but we must end our dependence on Oldland. If we don’t, it will kill us.” On a difficult juncture of their journey, he gazes at the remains of groups who did not survive the Great Change and solemnly spoke: “They didn’t make it, and look how much bigger they were.” His trusted counselor wisely responds: “They could not deal with change…and if you’re not leading change, you’re history.”

The premise is this: When the Great Change appears, you must rely on principles that don’t change. We call this principle-centered change capability. If you can’t lead, change, and innovate, you will be buried in Oldland. Below are the descriptions of three of the fourteen symbolic places from Journey to Newland:

  • The Great Change: Social and economic forces that require us to do things differently from the past
  • Oldland: Outdated or ineffective ways of doing things; attitudes and behaviors which are old and inappropriate for present or future challenges
  • Newland: A land blooming with opportunity and characterized by new ways of thinking and behaving

The Great Change

The new economic and social realities have created relentless uncertainty and fear primarily due to Great Change that shows up without an invitation. The financial crisis of 2008 and the COVID pandemic were events that put an enduring face on the Great Change. But what will be next?

As one wise leader said, we live in a “whitewater world.” We have since been thrust through the whitewater and over a gigantic, gushing waterfall as the economic river winds through global uncertainty. The waters keep coming, fast and furious…is your organization prepared to handle transformational change? These questions and more are answered in part 2 of this series.

 

Bill Poole is CEO of J2N Global and author of Journey to Newland.

Read Part 2: Transforming Micromanagement into a Leader of Leaders Mindset

How J2N Global Can Help

Are you an organization facing strategic change? Do you need help building a culture capable of change? Learn how you can benefit from transformational leadership that provides long-lasting change and trust.