The unpredictable predictability of change

How many variables can be helpful or impeding to the success of a project like M4810?

Which situations would effectively allow us to climb the Mont Blanc? How many of them will determine the journey of this group of alpinist-consultants to Europe’s highest peak? 

Many - too many to count. The same ones that determine the success of any mountain expedition, of any change project - of any human activity, actually.

The mountain, by definition, has always been the ideal grounds for the unpredictable. As the CAI (The Italian Alpine Club) told us in one of the first classes in the Methodos offices, “Zero risk in the mountains doesn’t exist.” It’s not a matter of being inexperienced or making human errors. It’s a matter of the impossibility of having control over the external variables like natural forces.

And this is becoming even more real with the climate change that slowly but surely impacts even on what we previously took for granted as certainties. Like the movement of glaciers, for example.

But isn’t this also the case in companies?

Digital transformation acts much in the same way as climate change, accelerating mutations and pushing them in unforeseeable directions.

The only way to keep winning is to keep moving. To stay flexible, ready to change, to proactively gather weak signals, and to quickly implement innovative solutions.

Pillola 3

Studying variables and their connections in an ever more articulate system, then, becomes fundamental in both environments. Taking advantage of this unpredictability as a testing ground for new techniques and practices also becomes essential.

This is the guiding principle behind M4810 as a change boot camp.

It teaches us not to rely on obsolete practices just because they have already been consolidated, but to always look for better solutions for every context or situation.

It pushes us to apply this approach in our personal life as in our work, and – above all – in our change projects.

As in the mountains, action leads to reaction. A decrease in temperatures can change the conditions of the route, causing even the most secure to become unstable. In the same way, humans react to external conditions in an unpredictable way.

In the end, isn’t this what change projects are about?

They are about knowing how to read the variables that make up the company culture, even those not apparent at first glance. Moreover, they are about knowing the technique and the path and about having the clarity necessary to evaluate them in light of the particular situation, potentially changing them if necessary.

We must remember that standard paths do not exist, neither in the mountains nor in change.

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.