There are different approaches to learn how to dance or how to change. Some people learn the steps: one and two, turn left, one step forward, one step back, etc. and some others would rather feel the music before learning the steps. I belong to the latter group.

For me, I need to first feel the music: its color, texture, melody, and sound; I need to learn how to vibrate with the rhythm. In this early stage, I am trying to fall in love with the music, have a good time, get to know myself as a dancer, enjoy the music as I take my clumsy dance steps. My concern is not the steps but to recognize myself as someone capable of vibrating with the music.

So, the first step is to feel and enjoy the music, vibrate with it, have fun with it, and then learn the steps. Here’s why: you can learn the steps and be a technically competent dancer, but if you don’t vibrate and feel the music, your performance will lack emotionality and will not connect with the audience.

Feeling the music is analogous to feeling the positive and creative tension of change. Basically, it means addressing the emotionality that the process of change will trigger. Vibrating and calibrating the music, its rhythm and new harmony are akin to addressing the whole range of emotions that the change is triggering: positive as the hope of something better, or negative as the anxiety that the uncertain encompasses.

For those designing the choreography, addressing all emotional states of change is both strategic and tactical; we must first listen and talk about the hope of success and the fear of failure, at all levels of the organization. Once we have, positively, been able to deconstruct the feelings towards change, then we move into the creation of the logical and rational change plan (i.e. the steps).

People do not resist change, they resist being changed. The process of buy-in is emotional as well as rational. We must keep both in balance. Consequently, developing a flexible mind with a creative heart capable of vibrating with the music is the key first step for leading change.

Shall we dance?

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