So some of you may have seen that locally we had been meeting up as change managers to discuss innovative approaches to Change Management using the metaphor of cooking.   This week I have a guest chef on the blog! The very clever Helen Palmer shares a recent recipe which created quite the tasty feedback.

Fly away together


Go Live Transition period (1-3 days prior + on the day); interpersonal engagement and information dissemination


Provide a playful way to grab staff’s attention with a pleasurable personal experience that might minimise anxiety while increasing confidence and knowledge to participate in a well-managed Go Live period. (Presumes there will be attentive and ready support staff dedicated to serve and be available in person on the day/s of Go Live.)

Flying theme is an analogy to leverage in meaningfully describing what is/will happen; provides a here-to-serve context to influence support staff behaviour & attitude; and a common language/point of reference to guide planned and most importantly improvisational or unanticipated activity and conversation

Size (aka Serves)

15-100 ppl

Resources (aka Ingredients)

Part 1

  • Personalised boarding passes with brief simple instructions plus tear off section containing person’s name
  • Flight steward’s announcement script (shameless exploitation of concepts of introducing service team, advising what to do in emergency, what services will happen during ‘flight’, what not to do during ‘flight’, how to signal attention of service team)
  • Person dressed up as flight  steward ready to act in character
  • Members of support team
  • Small flags to raise above desks (per person or per group) to attract or ‘call’ support staff

Part 2

  • Members of support team dressed in identifying clothing (e.g. T-shirt, or hat)
  • Person (or people) dressed up ready to act in character as flight  steward
  • Pre-packed bags of goodies (e.g. candies, drink sachets, snacks – preferably healthy, in zip lock bags or attractive container)
  • Tray or trolley for dispensing
  • Dispenser for fresh water, i.e. nice jug
  • Cups or water bottles
  • Berocca® Vit B/C tablets or drink
  • Flight steward’s service script (includes introduction, treating staff member like a VIP, offering a bag of goodies, offering  water to drink, offering a Berroca tablet to create a bubbly drink or Berroca drink, check if people need anything, thank people for ‘flying’, acknowledge any ‘turbluence’ and offer calming words)

Steps (aka Method)

Part 1 (1-3 days prior to changeover)

  1. Gather people in a hospitable space (Include refreshments)
  2. Flight steward steps forward and announces the pending departure (from old situation to new)
  3. Steward (& support staff) handout boarding passes to individuals, plus flags to individuals or groups

Part 2 (Day of changeover)

First thing

  1. Support staff visit each person at their desk to remove tear off section and confirm logistics of successful access to new situation/system; return tear-off sections to coordinator to check off list. (Make sure no one is missed) (This action also gives a pretext for support people to introduce themselves personally and start rapport with staff they are supporting – break down any initial communication barriers.)

1-2 hours later

  1. Prepare the tray/trolley for dispensing
  2. Steward visits every staff member at their desk to provide ‘in-flight service’ (delivering script, delivering goodies,  remind people of ways to take care of their wellbeing, and checking people know how to use flag; and if there are any issues that need to be drawn to attention of support staff, noting any high emotion situations that might need more intervention by managers or leaders)
  3. Steward arranges responses for staff with particular needs to meet


“A great break from the intensity of the day.”

“What a treat – I felt so spoilt.”

“Thanks for my goodies bag and Berocca tablet – it gave me an energy boost.”

“It was a fantastic idea – it gave a great atmosphere around the place.”


Recently dished up at RMIT University starring Helen as the Flight Steward. (Apparently Richard Branson should call soon to offer Helen alternative employment!)

helen-palmer Helen Palmer is Change & Learning Facilitator from RHX Group . She thinks creatively about change and learning in organisations.  She is passionate about enabling quality knowledge to be captured and shared so others might make use of it.  Applying the analogy of a recipe is one such way.
So do you have a favourite recipe to share?




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