So while I am burying things, I am officially also burying the phrase “burning platform.”
I cannot take direct create for this blinding-glimpse-of-the-obvious insight, but exactly what positive impact does this verbal imagery have on helping someone (or some organization) want to change? And if I am walking around in an organization that is consistently urging change because of yet another burning platform, wouldn’t I want to get to someplace a little safer? Smoke, fire and 20-story plunges into the sea are not part of my image of a healthy environment.
This notion actually came up during a conversation late last week with two organizations that are working with the Master’s Program in Learning & Organizational Change at Northwestern University on re-thinking change management practices within organizations. One of the executives pointed out that our normal approach to inspiring change is to start with images inspiring fear. And how, she asked, does that put people in a good place to actually do something productive?
So: Burning platform. No longer part of my vocabulary.