Icebreakers – Change Management

Have the following statements on an overhead or flipchart:

  • Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. (General George S. Patton)
  • Public sentiment is everything, without it nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed. (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Leaders must invoke an alchemy of great vision. (Henry Kissinger)
  • The highest of distinctions is service to others. (King George VI)

Which of these four statements most represents where your organization is coming from? To which are they are endeavoring to go?

Five years from now as you are sipping your morning coffee and reading on-line news headlines, you see your company’s name in a headline. You are surprised to see that the top business news story has to do with your company. You quickly go to the page and scan the story, growing more delighted with each line you read.

What does the news story report?

If change in your organization is a motorcycle, do you find riding it:

  • Terrifying;
  • Exhilarating; or
  • Just a vehicle to get where you are going?


Imagine your company as a chrysalis within its cocoon. It is changing on the inside but those individuals outside cannot see these changes. One day, a changed creature (your company) emerges from its protective shell and reveals itself to the outside world. What does this new, emergent creature look like? What colors is it? Explain what the shape and colors represent.

Machiavelli stated, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Why do you agree or disagree with Machiavelli?

Sometimes reward systems penalize people instead of rewarding them. What one thing in your company’s reward system would you change so that the people that should be rewarded are rewarded instead of punished?

Which of the following best describes how you feel about change in your organization? Change is …

  • A gentle breeze;
  • A severe and violent thunderstorm;
  • An tree-cracking ice storm;
  • A ray of sunshine; or
  • A pea soup fog.


Are you more “Better safe than sorry” or “Nothing ventured, nothing gained?” Why?

When change is announced in your office are you:

  • The ultimate fence-sitter;
  • A fly on the wall;
  • The champion of change;
  • A ghost; or
  • The harbinger of doom?


When you rush into the waters of change, what temperature is the water? Explain your answer.

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