top of page

Met de steun van:

He who would travel happily, must travel light.

Do you know how to tell the difference between an experienced and an inexperienced expedition climber? By the size of their backpack. An inexperienced climber fills their backpack with all sorts of useful things, like extra food and spare clothing. When they arrive at the highest camp a few days later, exhausted and with that heavy backpack, they realize that because of the altitude, their digestion no longer works. They cannot eat the extra food. They lack the energy to take off their clothes, let alone being able to put on spare clothes. Eventually they realise they have consumed a lot of energy carrying useful things up the mountain that will not be used.

An experienced alpinist does not put in their backpack what they want to or can use, but only what they will use. Consequently, the backpack is lighter and smaller. A light backpack makes an alpinist agile and resilient. Their chance of success is greater.

We also have a habit of stuffing our backpack of life with useful things: past experiences that we continue to carry, everyday activities, aspirations for the future. At first glance, these seem to weigh nothing. But once something is in our backpack, we want to protect it, and hold on to it. If something happens to it, we get frustrated. If you pay attention to all those things, you will not get ahead.

Organizations are made up of people, and the lighter the backpack of those people, the more agile and resilient that organisation as a whole will be. But organisations also sometimes carry in their backpacks fear of an uncertain future, attachment to a successful past or a desire to control the present. It is no coincidence then, that successful start-ups excel in agility and resilience. There is no successful past in their backpack, as they do not yet have one. Nor is there heavy bureaucracy in it, because they are not big enough for that. An uncertain future is an opportunity rather than a threat for them.

As a transformation manager, I put people and organisations in motion. That task becomes a lot easier if those people and organisations carry a light backpack. This is not always the case. In the coming years, we face a lot of change. Globalisation and digital transformation have become staples in the news. They cannot be stopped, even if we wanted to. The transition to a global, digital society will not be a pleasant process for everyone. For people, organisations and communities that are agile and resilient, the transition process will be a lot more pleasant and the benefits much greater.

As it is, life will give you more challenges than you can handle. Keep your backpack light, choose the right challenges and focus your heart and soul on those. Let the rest of the challenges pass you by without getting frustrated.

72 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page