Change Management Game

What does it take to change the world? How can you change a social complex system?

It only takes 34 questions to find the answers.

Originally published in Jurgen Appelo’s, How to Change the World, the 90-page booklet is a fun way to share stories of successful change management processes.

Playing the Change Management Game will enable you to:

  • Consider the system
  • Consider the individuals
  • Consider the interactions
  • Consider the environment

The Power of Questions

This game doesn’t give you answers. It raises questions. Why? Because questions force us to self-reflect. Questions make us take a step back, look inwards and delve into why we do what we do.


When you don’t measure results you won’t know if your change initiative is going well. How do you plan to test if things are going well? How will you measure progress? And do your metrics enable learning instead of distorting system behaviors?

Questions make us dig deep and often into things that we don’t want to discuss or things that we’ve been avoiding or trying to ignore. 

How to play the Change Management Game?

The exercise consists of 34 questions. The participants in the exercise are asked to tell each other stories of successful change either from their own experience or otherwise. They tell their stories based on the questions that they see in front of them.

The Change Management Game is now also available as a template on Miro.

There are many ways you can play the game:

  1. When you start a new change project just put the cards on the table and review a few of them. Is everyone on the team able to answer them? 
  2. Use the questions in retrospectives to reflect on what went well and where there is space to improve? Did you think hard about certain issues? Did you consider everything?
  3. Use it for yourself to reflect as a project manager.
  4. For workshops and conferences to get sharing experiences on change projects up and running. 

The following four change models are included in the game. You can choose to use one, two or all of them to play it’s up to you!

1: Dance with the System: PDCA Chart [Plan Do Check Act]

  1. Plan: What is your goal?
  2. Do: What are the crucial steps?
  3. Check: How do you gather feedback & measure results?
  4. Act: How do you accelerate the results?

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2: Mind the People: ADKAR® Model [Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement®]

  1. Awareness: How will you communicate? Set an example?
  2. Desire: How do you make it urgent or desirable?
  3. Knowledge: Who will teach and how?
  4. Ability: How can you make it easy to be adopted?
  5. Reinforcement: How can you make it sustainable?

To learn more about the ADKAR® Model read on here.


People change their behaviors when it makes them feel better. How do you match the change with people’s intrinsic desires? Change agents know they might have to feed people good ideas with spoons full of irresistible effects. Can you make the change feel desirable?

3: Stimulate the Network: Adoption Curve Model

  1. Are you committed? Who else is?
  2. Who will be the innovators?
  3. Who will be the early adopters? How will leadership help?
  4. How do you reach the early majority? Create virality?
  5. How will you reach the late majority? Persuade the skeptics?
  6. How will you prevent a relapse?

4: Change the Environment: 5I’s Model [Information, Identity, Incentives, Infrastructure, Institutions]

  1. Information: How do you ease communication? Transmit information?
  2. Identity: How do you encourage a group identity to grow?
  3. Incentivize: How to do you encourage good behavior?
  4. Infrastructure: Analyze barriers and paths to success.
  5. Institutions: Who can make the rules

Want to take a change management training? Our Management 3.0 leadership workshops are all about change and how to lead your team through uncertain times.

In our Management 3.0 shop the Change Management Game is available in English. If you require another language you can download it for free, print and cut yourself.

Currently the following languages and formats are available for download:

  • English
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • French
  • Dutch

Download the Management 3.0 Change Management Game

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    Change Agent


    In the Management 3.0 module on Change Management you will learn more about change management in organizations and how you can support change initiatives. It’s highly relevant for Change Managers & Consultants as well as Scrum Masters & Agile Coaches but also people working in Human Resources.

    Insights posts about the Change Management Game