Run an effective activity using these details

In a group or by self, examine a document containing change strategy information to identify applied Principles


In April 2020, there was a great example of human-centered communication floating around on social media. It was the message that the CEO-Founder of Airbnb wrote for the staff about pending organisational changes.

It’s content of good value for two reasons:

  • It shows how an organisation took a principle-based approach for making and shaping change, and they’ve included the principles influencing their thinking in the content.
  • It’s something you could use to examine to retrospectively see what Change Design Principles were in play. I suspect the author(s) were intuitively working from these kinds of principles. If you thought this was an impactful piece of communication that inspires you for do something similar – you wouldn’t attempt to copy it word for word. A better way to re-use the knowledge would be to understand what principles were in play and use those as ‘same/themes’ in your content but contextualised for ‘differences/variations’ in your situation.


  1. Read the message.
  2. Decide: Which Change Design Principles can you recognise in this communication/change strategic approach? Prepare to ‘defend’ your choices.
  3. Share and compare your list with others.
    • Identify which Principles you had in common, and which were different.
    • Share the reasons why there was commonality or difference.
  4. With the insight gained from being retrospective, imagine what a future situation could be like, where you work with a Change Sponsor to choose Principles and apply them to shape a communication/change strategic approach.



  1. Identify one of the aspects from the message, to which you associated a Principle.
  2. Using that Principle think about a different action that you could take in a situation in your context, where the Principle would still apply, but the realisation of that Principle would look quite different.


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This content is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence so it can be freely shared with attribution to the creator (Questo); it cannot be used for commercial purposes; and it cannot be modified.