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Incorporating the concept of waves into a change initiative provides a helpful framework for understanding and navigating the turbulence and disruptions that can arise during organizational transformation. As experienced change consultants, we typically explain waves and their value in the following way:

Transformation efforts, especially in today's rapidly evolving business landscapes and accelerated change, rarely follow a smooth, linear path. Like the ocean, change brings rises and falls - unexpected shifts that can throw plans off course. We refer to these disruptive events or pivotal moments as "waves."

Just as waves influence the rhythm of the ocean, organizational waves shape the cadence and flow of change. They may appear as sudden technology changes in the market, gaps between strategy and execution, misalignments between departments, or even internal resistance to new ways of working.

Being attuned to these waves is crucial. Anticipating them allows us to adapt rather than capsizing our efforts. We can evolve initiatives to address emerging challenges and opportunities. In a way, waves keep change efforts flexible, resilient and centered on delivering real impact, not just following a predetermined path.

Specifically, thinking in terms of waves encourages us to:

In summary, incorporating the waves concept sets realistic expectations that change involves turbulence. It instills a mindset of learning and adaptiveness in the face of uncertainty. And it allows us to ride the waves skillfully together, staying centered on purpose throughout the journey.

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