The Tipping Point change management simulation
Action learning at its best, and a great example of powerful learning through gamification
At the heart of an organisational change is an idea about getting work done faster, better, or at lower cost. The Tipping Point change management simulation is built around the fact that ideas become contagious and spread when people advocate them. The best advocates are people with expertise in the area affected by the change who also have experience with it and enthusiasm for it. Leaders support these advocates by making their own commitment clear, providing necessary tools and information, recognising efforts, and rewarding successes to create the context for the new idea to spread.
The Tipping Point model of change links employees' attitudes toward a change with the Seven Levers of Change. The computer simulator embodies the theory. Used in the Tipping Point Workshop, the simulator provides a platform for friendly competition and focused dialogue, which makes these ideas come alive and enables participants to see them in action.
"Our programme has progressed to a roll-out that focuses on ‘Embedding the Trust values’ and ‘Leading change in systems’. The Workshop is providing our senior managers with a shared understanding of the levers of change and a common language as we plan and progress critically important developments in the way our Trust operates and performs. The Workshop’s ‘seven levers’ provide an invaluable mental model, and we have noted specific examples of shifts in emphasis that have resulted directly from learning that has emerged from the model’s lessons – for example, shifts in the emphasis and timing between mass communication and face-to-face contact, which can make all the difference to the effectiveness of our efforts to spread understanding of and commitment to important changes.
We are continuing to introduce more colleagues to the Tipping Point model, as part of our ongoing roll-out of the development programme, and are seeing the impact of this work through a greater shared understanding of the dynamic nature of leading change."
Michelle Brown Head of Organisational Development, Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
The Simulation's impeccable pedigree
The Tipping Point simulation is grounded in both a solid theoretical foundation and real-life deployment across a spectrum of organisational settings. This explains its unique strength, validity, and applicability to a wide range of change initiatives.
First, it embodies the best of the established and contemporary theories of organisational change.
Second, it draws on lessons learned from public health, using the analogy between the spread of epidemics and the spread of ideas. In recent times many of us have learned more about epidemics than we ever wanted to know. Turning that knowledge on its head, think how powerful it would be if we were able to support the changes we seek to implement, in ways that turned them into positive epidemics of enthusiasm.
Finally, it also has deep roots in the principles of systems thinking and systems dynamics modelling, delivering vital insights into the dynamic behaviour of complex systems.
Making the Simulator real
Expertise from the real-life experience of change leaders helped to create the Tipping Point simulator, and the model continues to be tested and refined through constant exposure to the insights and feedback of experienced change leaders and experts in relevant fields.
The Tipping Point has what social scientists call "face validity." Anyone familiar with change management will recognise the results as reflected in their own experience.
The simulator is not a predictive tool, it is more powerful than that. It is a tool for developing the capacity of those who lead and influence the planning and implementation of changes, helping them to do so more and more effectively, more cost-effectively, and more time-effectively. This is the route to genuine and lasting success in the creation of change-capable organisations.
What you get
It would be nice to have a computer simulation that gives the exact recipe for implementing any change. However, all organisations and all changes are different, and there is no single recipe for change. So no single simulation can provide specific answers for every change.
Nonetheless, the Tipping Point simulation’s structure and dynamics are comparable across organisations and changes, and the actions that leaders can take, represented by the levers of change, have parallels across a very wide range of organisations and change initiatives.
Examples include streamlining customer service in banking, introducing electronic heath records, rolling-out a six sigma quality improvement programme, improving throughput in manufacturing, integrating new software systems into business and public service settings, implementing an improved career management process, and service and process review in multiple settings.
Why it is relevant
The Tipping Point simulation offers a way for workshop participants to experiment with the dynamics of change and the change levers in a safe, low-risk environment. It fosters dialogue among team members and helps them learn from one another and create a shared mental model of what is needed to implement a change.
A shared mental model combines knowledge of each team member to create a richer, fuller understanding. There is an old saying, “All of us together are smarter than any one of us alone.” A shared mental model draws on the knowledge and experience of all team members, helping teams create a more effective implementation plan that addresses interactions that might otherwise have fallen through the cracks.
By using the Tipping Point simulation, the Tipping Point Workshop excels in its capacity to foster experimentation and dialogue that creates shared understanding among team members, creating a stronger, smarter team.
CONTACT US to learn more, to arrange a workshop, or to arrange facilitator training so you can add the brilliant Tipping Point Simulation to your toolkit.