A Catalyst for Change with Liz Laing

By Alexandra Kinmont


Change is everywhere. In the business environment especially, regular progressions in technology require constant adaption to the working world. If our computers and our smartphones are updating and progressing daily, what of us and our thinking?

No one thinks of changing what they don’t know can be changed. The way we think – our thought processes and outlook – can be changed, and should be changed. At our last Community of Experts session, Liz Laing brought us what she calls a deceptively simple method for initiating change.

The Frameworks® for Change Process is a tool for inspiring agile thinking in our ever-changing world. The toolkit teaches employees and executive management alike how to adapt their thinking to new and enhanced business models, breaking tired and stale habits that have been previously overworked.

Liz, whose experience spans people and business, started out her career in IT as a computer programmer and worked her way to becoming a business analyst and project manager. With more insight into the working world, Liz then completed her MBA at Wits Business School for a better understanding of the business environment. She has since specialised in corporate strategy and business operations working with companies such as IBM and Ernst & Young.

Liz used the Frameworks® for Change Process to guide attendees through a six step process designed to push their thinking outside the corporate conformity. Organisational change usually begins with organisational needs with individual needs as a mere afterthought. The Frameworks® for Change Process begins from within the individual, using personal power to align with the organisation. It recognises the importance of personal growth and how that can contribute towards business development.

The toolkit teaches you how to apply intuition to the decision-making process, as it exposes new possibilities and solutions. This establishes innovation and clarity within an organisation.

In a two hour workshop, our attendees were given workbooks and a selection of cards. The versatility of each card allows it to resonate with every individual with the purpose of inspiring a unique response or reaction. There are four sets of cards: Insight, Setback, Resource and Mentor. The process follows the below framework:

Step 1: Statement of Intention

The first step was to set an intention – a goal that every person works towards. Liz had each group choose an insight to provide a focus area. Every insight prompted a different response from every participant.

Step 2: Primary Insight

Groups then chose a primary insight card which provided an empowering direction, leading participants towards achieving their intended objectives.

Step 3: Identify a Possible Setback

Participants were then faced with a possible challenge that could hinder a successful outcome.

Step 4: Resource Insights

Liz then had the groups choose a resource card. This resource would assist each participant in overcoming their setback through various interpreted approaches.

Step 5: Select a Mentor

Each group chose a mentor card with advice and guidance to affirm their core competencies. This would inspire the confidence needed to help them move forward from their setback towards achieving their goals.

Step 6: Action Plan

Change only comes about when the awareness that is gained from the cards is combined with personal choice. Liz had participants choose a main action point to instil this learning and begin the process of action planning. 

Under Liz’s guidance, attendees learnt to deconstruct their old thought patterns and reinvent new ones. Combined with personal intuition, primed by the resource cards, the possible scenarios and prompts for insight generated new and creative solutions.

The challenge we most frequently face is applying this process to the business environment so that those around us see the tangible value of the toolkit. It is difficult to inspire change in an environment where people fail to see how their behaviours can be improved. Human nature resists change, more so when we are stuck in a habitual rut. The cards take common problems that every business would have encountered in one form or the other and simply provides unexpected, yet surprisingly simple, approaches that we could have overlooked. Being made to think in a way that does not come naturally to you is what truly opens the doors for new and pioneering ways of thinking.

For more information on implementing the Frameworks® for Change Process, please contact us at here.

For more on information on Change Management short courses, click here.