THREE JOURNEYS: A NARRATIVE APPROACH
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A LEGENDARY STORYAS A FRAME FORSUCCESSFUL CHANGE
Our approach to change was inspired bythe story of Lewis and Clark, the intrepidexplorers who made the ﬁrst crossing tothe American West, who forged a trail thatwould lead to the formation of what wenow know as the United States. ThomasJefferson, the third President, knew thatopening up the west coast was critical inthe short-term to understand the natureof what he had just bought (the LouisianaPurchase) and in the long-term for his tradeand political ambitions in fulﬁlling his visionfor the country. Jefferson and MeriwetherLewis pored over maps and journals toform in their minds how the journey mightunfold, what resources might be required,what success would look and feel like,and how they might get the support fromCongress to embark on this adventure. Thiswas the
—as it was conceived inthe minds of the two leaders.Once they got their funding, Lewis and hisco-leader, William Clark, selected andtrained their expedition members in St Louis,Missouri—at that point the westernmostoutpost of the ﬂedgling nation. While there,they gathered the resources and practisedthe skills they imagined would be neededto make the trip.This time of preparation, based on theirinitial knowledge, was the
.Since much of their journey would takethem into the unknown, their plans reliedon partial information and an earned trustin their leadership skills. In moving fromconcept to plan, Lewis and Clark engagedthe people who would be involved in andaffected by what actually happened. Itwas a time for engaging them in the vision,preparing for what they may encounter,and getting what we now call their ‘buy in’.Then, they embarked on the actual trip,the
for which they had beenpreparing. The further they travelled upthe Missouri River, the sparser the availableinformation became. One of their biggestsurprises was the scale of the RockyMountains, a range of peaks unlike anythey had seen before. However, for everyunexpected turn of events or what seemedlike an impassable barrier, the expeditionadapted and remained resilient. Theyeventually discovered a path through thesemountains and on to the Columbia River—though it was not the all-water passage tothe west coast they had hoped to ﬁnd. Theﬁrst two journeys not only helped them planand prepare for this expedition, but alsohelped them refocus, regroup and reorientin the face of hardships, errors in judgment,boredom and fatigue, and the like.
Our approach to changewas inspired by the story of Lewis and Clark, the intrepidexplorers who made the ﬁrstcrossing to the AmericanWest, who forged a trail thatwould lead to the formationof what we now know as theUnited States.
Translatingthe three journeys toa business context