The first step in any successful transformation program is to get a critical mass of key people to recognise the need to change, to want to do something about it.

John Kotter, author of Leading Change, calls this step 'Establishing a sense of urgency'. A crisis or potential crisis can create a sense of urgency, and so can a major opportunity. If there’s no sense of urgency, the change program fails.

But what if you thought about your transformation strategy as a story?

In story terms, this sense of urgency is known as 'The Call to Adventure'. It’s the thing that shakes up the main character’s world and causes her to undertake a journey into the unknown. Without the Call to Adventure there wouldn’t be any story because the character would just sit quietly at home doing the same things she’s always done. You wouldn’t pay to sit through two hours of that at the cinema.

In my work with organisations on their transformation programs, I find this small shift in perspective can make a huge difference in the way they think about the change.

What’s the Call to Adventure in your strategy?