This I received a package that had a number of elastic bands holding things together. The kids and I took the bands, so paper, and heading outside. After making a target, we folded strips of paper multiple times so we could try to hit the target with them. Unsurprisingly, sometimes we didn’t stretch the elastic band enough. A few times we pulled the elastic bands too far and they broke. We had a lot of fun.
When I was putting my daughter to bed, she asked ‘Dad, why did some bands break and others didn’t even though we stretched them the same?’ The possible factors are countless and sometimes the weak points are hard to see.
Leadership and organisational change management is a bit like elastic bands. Stretch your teams not enough and not much happens except for a flop. Stretch them too much and they break. However, when we get it right enormous power is realised. Another way to look at it is to remember that elastic bands only propel things if one end goes forward enough to create the tension for the propulsion of other end. Figuring out the most effective level tension is the role of the leader and the change maker, not the rest of the team.
Just don’t go too far.