The Jenga Change Analogy - IT Empathy ® Blog

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The Jenga Change Analogy

Published: 30.09.2016

The photo used in this article requires special credit and acknowledgment to www.cbs.com


The fundamental building blocks of all structures depends crucially upon carefully constructed balance and precision. The Jenga tower structure allows a simplified analogy to be presented.

Visualisation of structure

This jenga visualisation of fundamental structure helps highlight dependencies and key building blocks required for the creation or transformation of any complex structure. The Jenga tower is like an organisation built over time. The blocks at the bottom represent long term staff or the Hercules blocks holding the rest up. Often the result of foundations set long ago and now covered by years of further now more visible development blocks. Yet it's typically only upon removal a Hercules block that massive structural damage occurs.

Strategic Design

The creation of joined up powerful solutions or bigger picture strategically designed architecture is a critical factor in successful transformation from old to new or mobilisation of new. If the problems are embraced and processed with positive solutions then the by-product is powerful innovation and quality!

Creation of Change

The social complexity of change requires powerful imagination as the vehicle to move the Hercules blocks. This common structural stress will always produce natural problems. These problems or weaknesses can be often ignored or removed, rather than solved.

Structural Damage

Problems are the by-product of the mortar being ripped by the removal of legacy structural blocks. Ignorance of these structural problems can lead to failures in innovation and loss of continuity of blocks. The major problems occur when the blocks start moving themselves without being removed. This is a major sign of structural damage and will seriously impact strategic goals!


Innovation strategy should always incorporate the realignment of structural mortar and Hercules blocks damaged along the way. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you need assistance with IT change management, problem solving and innovation please reach out via our contact page shown below.

Jon Bailey

Independent Consulting and Advisory

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