CLEAR Change - the Origin Story
I engaged a new client earlier this year - myself! After 3 years of starts, stops, and ongoing dialog with my family, I found my voice and the pathway to write my first book. Hooray!
Why did it take so long? I had the idea for the CLEAR Change method in my head (and had used it in practice), but while I started initial drafts of the book, I found it super boring. A real snore. Nobody would be interested - I wasn't.
If I wasn't interested, how could I find people who were? I didn't know if the method worked for anyone beyond myself. I contacted friends and colleagues for recommendations. I interviewed leaders in organizations different from what I'd experienced to test the method. We discussed transformations that succeeded, testing if the method applied. These were easy discussions, reveling in the leader's success and mapping how the CLEAR Change model applied. But proving a positive with a well formed (and somewhat obvious) process was not enough.
We also discussed the changes that failed - and there were many - to see where the breakdown occurred and if we could predict it based on the model. The stories were painful for some of the leaders to relive, humorous for others. Thanks to the generosity and transparency of these leaders, I found patterns in the failures. AND I found the predominant failure modes the CLEAR Change model anticipates and addresses. It works in transformations of all sizes, types, industries. HOORAY!
How might I present the method in a way that engages? I didn't know. I put the case studies and start of a manuscript to the side. For 2 years. I focused on other clients. Baked during the pandemic. Watched morning television. The TODAY Show spoke to me.
Hoda Kotb was interviewing Charlie Mackesy, author of The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse, a wonderful collection of thoughtful illustrations with messages we all needed in the depths of the pandemic. I loved the simplicity of the imagery, and considered the idea of animals talking to and teaching humans. It hit me like a flash - and the first of three parables was written. This was a connection point, an interesting presentation of the method, relatable change in an imaginary world. With the parables and a book club debrief after each one, the CLEAR Change method could be shared and applied. And the more technical description and case studies became the supporting cast for the logical processors in the crowd.
And so it is written. My client is happy with the result. The rest of the world can test, apply, comment, critique, and revel in CLEAR Change.
How will you apply CLEAR Change? Let me know!
CLEAR Change is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.