The Influence of Worldviews - Activity

Chris Teague - 2 mins

Who’s it for: Anyone interested in understanding how organisations change.

What’s it for: Helping make organisational change happen.

The concept of a ‘worldview’ is not a term I’d heard of or considered until recently however, it is a powerful lens to help empathise with your target audience when trying to make organisational change happen. Since learning about this concept, I have become aware of the importance of two simple yet incredibly powerful and insightful questions: ‘What’s it for’ and ‘Who’s it for’. I’m fascinated by the impact they can provide when carefully considered. It is challenging but essential & hugely beneficial to clearly identify exactly what you need to change, or who you need to enrol to help you make the desired organisational change happen. The more precise you are with ‘What’s it for’ and ‘Who’s it for’, the more likely it will result in the desired change.

“Everybody, somebody, anybody and nobody” mass communication has become the norm: better everyone know/hear something at the same time than to risk Chinese whispers, however, the downside of this approach ultimately results in no one truly hearing & understanding what needs to be done as no one believes you’re speaking to them personally.

Taking time to explore the worldviews of our colleagues will help us understand their beliefs, their experience of the workplace. They’re not wrong; they just experience the world/workplace differently to you. If organisations genuinely wish to change then they need to build empathy with these alternate worldviews.


Part One: Map of Decision Making Map out how decisions flow in your team/organisation (you can use a decision tree or similar tool). Don’t merely create the traditional org chart, consider how it really works. Who actually has the power to say no, who are the few who can say yes? And what are the worldviews of the people involved?

Part Two: Identify where ideas die Certain decisions/initiatives never see the light of day despite their perceived value to the business. Consider where and why decisions tend to die and using the worldview what reasons they may give for it. Consider how each person you wish to enrol in the change may see the change; what is their worldview regarding the change and how it will impact them. Step into their shoes and write why their view is in fact right; try to see the world as you believe they do - this will help you empathise with them.

Part Three Having identified the influencers; now consider how best to communicate empathetically, so you enrol them in the change.