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The Dance of Change, by Sophia Kruger

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A different lens on Facilitating Organisational Change

"The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

(Alan Watts)

This article follows on the work of Lucille Greeff and her series on Facilitating Organisational Change (i).

For the purpose of this paper, I would like to introduce the metaphor of Change Management as a Dance Performance. 

The various changes introduced in organisations can be seen as similar to dance productions and such productions would follow one or many of the dance disciplines i.e. Paso Doble, Cha-Cha, Viennese Waltz or a Ballet. 

The individuals responsible for orchestrating and driving change are the producers and/or choreographers.  The performers are the targets of change and those affected by the change. 

The tools we use to enable change are like the genre of music that will allow for the best possible expression of the dance discipline.

When we view change in this way, we can begin to understand that each genre of music has an appropriate dance style that allows the dancer to give expression to both the music and the art of the dance being performed.

Naturally the level of skill of the producer, choreographer and the artists, the ability to choose the correct genre of music, together with natural skills, knowledge, ability and experience makes for a good or a bad performance.

Even talented producers, choreographers and performers with natural abilities, have to apply themselves to understand the boundaries and purpose of the production.  They need to take a very close look at the processes and technicalities of the disciplines they choose to perform in. They need to understand their technology choices in terms of, music, lighting, special effects and costumes. 

Next, they have to choose the correct performers for the production and then they have to apply themselves through learning and teaching the steps, feeling the music and immersing themselves into that, giving and receiving constant feedback in order to deliver a well-polished and effective production.

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