In a change journey there are no mistakes, just lessons

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.  

The journey

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Mont Fallère

Methodos - M4810 - Mont Fallère

It is the first peak over 3.000m of our project

Mont Fallère is found in the Grand Combin Alps in the Aosta Valley.

Found between the Gran San Bernardo Valley and the Valdigne, it’s a great introduction to the magical world of the 3000s. Mont Fallère, situated in the heart of the Aosta valley, proposes a 360° panorama of all the Aosta valley peaks. Its layout is not the be underestimated, but overall it doesn’t present great difficulties, even if we need to be really careful in the final part of the ridge.

We go up in two stages: the first day up to the Fallère Hut; the second day we arrive at the summit and then we go down to the valley.

Read the story :)

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Pointe Lechaud

Our first alpinistic climb to a summit

Pointe Léchaud (3.128m) is located along the borderline between Italy (Valle d'Aosta) and France (Savoy).

It is located south of the Col de la Seigne (2.512m) between the Veny Valley and the Savoy Valley of the Glaciers.

We climb in two stages: on the first day we walk from La Visaille to the Elisabetta Soldini Hut (2.195m); on the second day up to the top and back to La Visaille.

From the hut we go up to the Col Chavannes (2.603m); from the hill we have to leave the marked path that begins to descend into the Chavannes valley, following a path on the right that crosses the very steep eastern slope of Mount Lechaud. The trail continues on the right, again not far from the crest of Mount Lechaud and crosses a small valley of stones or snow, reaching the wide basin where the Chavannes Glacier is located. Once we have put on crampons, we set foot on the glacier going diagonally to the left. From this point we gradually turn to the right pointing directly to the top, which can be reached by overcoming some easy rocky steps. What we see is a vast and spectacular panorama on the Italian side of Mont Blanc.

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Vallée Blanche

Methodos - M4810 - Vallée Blanche

Crossing the Gigante glacier towards the Aiguille du Midi

Although it may seems like a "scenic walk", the Vallée Blanche should not be underestimated, as it is an itinerary that involves crossing the Gigante glacier. It is always necessary to be accompanied by an Alpine Guide who knows the itinerary very well and knows how to avoid the dangers.

We go up by cable car to Punta Helbronner (3.462m), we wear harnesses and crampons and we tie ourselves together.

The first section makes us lose altitude and then we start to climb towards the Aiguille du Midi. The last section includes the ascent of the snow-covered ridge of the Aiguille du Midi, reaching 3.842m.

The return is with the panoramic cable car which takes us back to Punta Helbronner.

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Gran Paradiso

Methodos - M4810 - Gran Paradiso

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory

The Gran Paradiso is the only mountain over 4000m that is fully on Italian territory. A classic and fascinating climb: after a first part on ice, to be able to reach the peak marked by a statue of the Virgin Mary, you must pass some simple rocky crossings.

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Monte Rosa

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Rosa

2 full-immersion days of technical alpine skill training on Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa is a mountain range that is found in the Pennine Alps, along the watershed line between Italy (on the border of the Aosta valley and Piedmont) and Switzerland. It gives name to the Monte Rosa Alps supergroup, which in turn is composed of various important groups and subgroups, east of the Cervino and south-east of the Mischabel range. It is the most extended range in the Alps, and second in height after the Mont Blanc. It is the highest mountain in Switzerland and the second in Italy, and has the highest average height, containing 9 of the 20 highest peaks of the chain.

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Monte Bianco

Methodos - M4810 - Monte Bianco

Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco in Italian) is a mountain situated in the North-occidental Alps, in the Graian Alp range, on the watershed line between the Aosta valley (val Veny and val Ferret in Italy), and Haute-Savoie (the Arve valley in France), in the territories of Courmayeur and Chamonix, which give name to the Mont Blanc Massif, belonging to the subsection of the Mont Blanc Alps.

It’s 4808,72m (the last official measure was taken September 13, 2017) make it the highest mountain in the Alps, in Italy, in France, and in general in Europe if we exclude the Caucuses. This is why it’s called the King of the Alps. It shared a spot on the list of the highest Seven Summits with Mount Elbrus in the Caucuses.

Primarily granite full of peaks and crests, cut by deep glacial valleys, it is internationally renowned for its climbing and, from a historical point of view, the birth of mountaineering coincides with its first ascent: August 8, 1786.