Where’s Wally is called Where’s Waldo in North America and many other names – from Charlie to Ali to Hugo to Walter. It is a global sensation and my son is currently addicted. Hours are spent engrossed in large books looking for Wally, Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, Woof, Oddlaw and the accompanying accessories. The screams of delight at the point of discovery are hard not to smile at.
My son loves all the craziness of everything happening in the pictures – the rockets, flat tyres on cars, balls bouncing off multiple people, holes being dug, broken ladders, human catapults and slingshots, and so on. When I sit with him joining in the search for the stripy folk, I notice how most of his time is spent looking that the craziness. My approach is different, systematically starting at one corner and slowly going across the page trying to blur out the ‘crazy’ and look for the stripy folk and their accessories.
In our work on bringing about change, finding people to work with, those who are already engaged in the behaviours or activities we wish to see more of, can feel a bit like looking for Wally (or Waldo, Charlie, Walter, etc.) and his friends. Sometimes we need to blur out the ‘noise’ of the organisation around them to help us discover where they are ‘hiding’, while other times we need to set back and see all the interesting stories being told around them and notice how they don’t ‘fit’ in the story.
Wally, his friends, and accessories are never clumped together in one spot, they are always spread all over the picture. This is often true in organisations too and part of the role we can play is connecting people to each other so they feel less alone.
Now where was Wizard Whitebeard again?