One of the most interesting aspects of M4810 is seeing how Methodos can truly apply what they face in the mountains to what they do in helping clients every day. It’s “a vision that comes to life”, as it was once rightly said in a comment to the company. It’s a continuous stimulus to face the aspects on which they consult daily: resistance to change, the introduction of new habits, the sense of collective participation, leadership as a role model, and so on.
These are all elements that we find in this initiative, that we need to face at every outing: the worry for those who aren’t used to the mountains, of those who don’t feel sure or ready enough and want to - even unconsciously - go back to their comfort zone; the persistence of old habits of those who don’t train or eat well; the frustration of those who don’t make it to the top and don’t feel involved enough; the anxiety of those who are already trained but don’t want to leave the team behind, the leaders that asks themselves what role they have to play in the challenge. It’s a big Change Management gym, in which we always train at 1000 metres or more and in extremely difficult conditions. Only a really strong team could think of doing it, or more importantly, only one that is very sure of its ability to change people, the organisation, and the team.
What would happen if they made a mistake? What would happen if all this were a failure? What would happen if it were a success?
One day, while we were heading back towards the valley after one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve done until now, the Mont Fallère, this topic comes up. We’re chatting and reflecting on the amazing growth and mindset change opportunity that this experience represents – but also on the risks that it hides. Speaking about this, I expressed a thought that came to my mind that day. Having arrived at the halfway point, beaten by a freezing wind, we had to decide not to wait for the rest of the group and to continue climbing towards the top in waves. It made sense for a few reasons, starting with the fact that the path had a section of via ferrata that we had to do tied in groups.
But in that moment, talking about our adventure, a doubt came to mind: “And what if we were wrong? What if we should have waited for the group, if we projected a message of self-interest?”
“We can make mistakes in this journey. We could have made one today, we can make one next time… in the end, none of us has ever taken on something like this, we can probably say that that no other company has. We’re pioneers in applying Change Management to our own company, pushing all of our resources towards something difficult, a challenge that can weaken us instead of making us stronger,” says one of the participants.
“But we have a great strength: we’re facing a journey. This isn’t an independent outing, it’s a phase in the journey towards Mont Blanc, and a phase of our mindset change journey. It’s a huge change of perspective. Looking at it like this, there are no mistakes: there are only lessons to learn. Or rather, every error makes us stronger, because it brings us forward to the next challenge, it makes us ask questions and find answers. We try one road, and see that it brings us nowhere. So, we try another, but we see that it’s too steep and that we can’t make it up. But every time that we exclude a method we learn something about ourselves and about our journey, and every “error” brings us a step closer to the final peak.”
I listen enchanted, surprised at the evaluation of these aspects that I never would have taken into consideration. It’s true, and it’s the reason why Methodos planned this journey over the course of two years. Maybe we could have done it in less time, maybe we could have condensed the activities to a few months, training more in less time, training only those who are already athletic and have a high potential and finding ourselves at the top anyway. But this wasn’t the point. The Methodos consultants aren’t athletes, they work on Change Management: they create the conditions to allow a deep change in mentality to happen, for it to happen well and for it to continue throughout time.
And so, if we hadn’t planned phases that got incrementally more difficult over the course of these two years, reaching the top would have seemed impossible. On the contrary, getting a bit higher every time, raising our personal bar higher every time, not just physically but also psychologically and as a group, in the end we will manage to take over the summit – each of us with our own strengths.
And in 2021, after having conquered Mont Blanc, we won’t be training or eating in a certain way because we’ll be supported by the company – we’ll do it anyway, because the change will have been so deep, at the level of habits, conscience, and mindset.
Or maybe we’ll continue to climb. Who knows, maybe the next climb will be Everest. In the meantime, we’ll continue changing.