If we’ve learned anything from the past few years, it’s that change is no longer the exception—it’s the rule. How well we can adapt to and leverage change defines our success, in both our professional and personal lives.
Moving from a known to an unknown state is scary and unnerving, and many people regard change as painful. According to expert change leader, MJ Reiners, that pain often comes when we resist change—it’s when we run out of time, take shortcuts, and end up hurting the people involved.
The bright side is that while you can’t always plan for change, you can prepare! You can build change capability in your organization today, and that will increase your runway to make the process easier or even avoid disruptive impact altogether. This preparation is exactly what MJ offers in her change discovery model and courses which are designed to help companies and individuals forecast and build skills to be ready for better change experiences.
We were able to sit down with MJ and learn more about how to navigate change—now we get to share the magic with you!
The Epi.FUN.ny FactoryTM
“Each change project is different,” says MJ. “There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Your formula will look different than someone else’s. The Epi.FUN.ny FactoryTM is a discovery model designed to help you build awareness and make connections to past experiences to improve going forward—it helps you think differently about your approach to change, and with enough practice, change gets easier, and you get the results you want.”
The Epi.FUN.ny FactoryTM takes a holistic approach to change that considers the involvement and fulfillment of employees and stakeholders to ensure changes can be accomplished and will stick. It focuses on three main energies associated with change—Mind, Emotion, and Action—and seven change forces that are essential to successful change efforts.
The 7 Forces of Transformation
1. Power = Willpower, leverage to achieve results
2. Governance = Norms and rules that guide change
3. Camaraderie = Mutual trust and commitment that helps teams overcome obstacles
4. Joy = Belief that you’re making a difference. Doing good feels good and creates fun
5. Intelligent Action = Think for results
6. Technique = Skillful action that works for the long haul
7. Flow = Harmony and Momentum, “In the Zone.” When people are enjoying and focused on an activity, they’re more likely to keep doing it.
Identifying the 7 Forces in Common Change Roadblocks
Why do change efforts fall apart? Using the building blocks from the Epi.FUN.ny FactoryTM, you can trace issues back to the root and determine if the problem lies with Mind, Emotion, or Action, then shift attention accordingly! Let’s look at some examples.
Starting Strong (Power/Governance)
“Leaders are very busy, of course,” says MJ. “They have a mission—they’re trying to grow their company. But leadership involvement, and the conviction they bring, is critical at the beginning of a change effort.”
“Don’t be too eager to hand off a change project,” warns MJ. “Once a project is up and running, developing camaraderie and joy will create a gravitational pull towards achieving your goal. But there must be enough willpower at the beginning of the project, otherwise the change effort will die out.”
Foster Fulfillment (Camaraderie/Joy)
“In organizations that get really big, there’s less camaraderie and joy,” MJ notes. “Group projects are hard, and what leaders fail to leverage is an activity into meaning. Helping to develop those relationships and commitment to the cause doesn’t take money, but it does take time and energy. And with that “heart energy” investment, you’ll end up with better retention, better sales, and better customer relationships.”
“Fulfillment is a really overlooked energy,” says MJ. “People want to do good work, but if they’re not getting enriching feelings at work, that’s a hindrance—especially when you’re trying to implement changes. What we see in the marketplace today is that people have a deep desire to be fulfilled beyond material gain. People want meaningful relationships, and they want to make a difference. Transformation projects are golden opportunities to bring that to the team.
Alignment of Goals and Strategy (Intelligent Action/Technique)
“When I’m working on a change effort, I always encourage stakeholders to think about intelligent action,” says MJ. “What are they really trying to accomplish? Are sales your only measure, or are you trying to get customers to build a new habit? These are totally different strategies—short term vs long term. Taking intelligent action and honing your technique helps build buy-in for change efforts.”
“Change DOES NOT require pain. The better change leaders can plan and involve stakeholders, the more successful the process will be.”
Testimonials from the Carex Crew
We had the opportunity to take MJ’s free “Make Change Stick” course—here’s a few things the Carex Crew had to say about it!
The content of the presentation was top notch! It gave me a simple framework and common lexicon I can use to discuss change management with my team. The workshop format was an enormous driver of value. Each team member shared a story from their own personal experience, and it helped me understand the context and history that they bring to the table in a new change effort. – Bill
I really enjoyed MJ’s seminar and felt like it gave me a new way to think about change events and ways to move through them successfully. I appreciated the new perspective and definitely think it will be helpful in both my personal and professional life! – Andie
I found the seminar super informative and liked the way it presents change events in a new light. Coming from a change-averse person, I love that it emphasizes the importance of how to help people FEEL GOOD about a change, not just focusing on the tactical change itself. – Erin
Check Out Summerland Education
Are you ready to build a foundation for great change experiences? Visit this link to get access to MJ’s free “Make Change Stick” video course: https://summerlandeducation.com/make-change-stick/
In addition to the free video series, Summerland Education also offers a paid course that helps build skill in each of the seven change forces. The curriculum takes an average of 30 hours to complete and includes seven lessons with four sections each, consisting of short videos, downloadable tools, and critical thinking exercises. The Summerland team is available for support throughout the course, and you can also work with MJ to develop a custom program for your organization.
MJ also has a new book coming out in by mid-2023! Engineering an Epiphany is a deep dive into the 7 Forces to help guide your evolving business.
If you have any questions, reach out to MJ and Summerland Education here!
“Anyone can have great change experiences.”
MJ Reiners, President of Summerland Education, has over 22 years of experience leading business transformations. After working at Epic for 10 years, where she was responsible for leading large-scale change projects, she founded Summerland Education. She has worked with many large companies on dozens of projects (some of which were award-winning and exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars!). MJ has instructed hundreds of executives, analysts and managers on advanced change strategies and techniques in the US as well as internationally. MJ developed the Epi.FUN.ny FactoryTM because she is passionate about helping both leaders and organizations avoid the painful lessons she had to learn through trial and error, and instead, “Make Change Stick!”