Change through the eyes of Jillian Michaels

I have said before that Jillian Michaels is an evil woman.  I say that because I’ve been trying to conquer her Level 1 30-day Shred for weeks now and the jumping jacks get me every time!

For some reason today, I was listening more closely to her words as she was “motivating” her TV audience, and something clicked that her advice is a lot like organizational change theory.

She said, “we have to put stress on your body in order for it to change“.  Sounds a bit like Kotter’s sense of urgency, doesn’t it.  So in the world of complex systems (which both the body and organizations are…) complacency is the enemy of change.

Another tidbit – her “shred” is 20 minutes of CONTINUOUS movement – no rest – at all.  This keeps the heart rate up so that the body continued to be in stress….kind of like the importance of over-communicating the message and strong leadership presence so that folks don’t fall back into old behaviors.  Of course, we all know that exercise is never a short-term event, because what happens when we stop?

Michael’s approach to the “shred” is to work multiple muscles at the same time….bicep curls with static lunge works small and large muscles and trains the body in balance along the way.  Again, I see an analogy here with organizational change – address every part of the complex system, and see how they operate and influence each other.  Correct when necessary.

Organizations need to feel pain in order for change to occur.  As in exercise, there is good pain, and there is dangerous pain.  It takes careful preparation and reflection to avoid the bad pain, but still keep the good stress going.

And it’s a journey, not a destination.  Jillian, you wise change agent, you….but you’re still an evil woman!

2 thoughts on “Change through the eyes of Jillian Michaels”

  1. Love this- and I definitely agree that the difficulty of personal change Jillian-style (I’m thinking Biggest Loser) closely parallels the difficulty of organizational change, and requires the same vigilance to ensure the change sticks. Also, I am returning to boot camp tonight after a week and a half of lying on a beach (and lots of food/drink), so I appreciate the motivation 🙂

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