Get Good at Organizational Change (600 x 125 Banner Ad 2013, © 2013, Robert S. Tipton

Franklin Falcon

Franklin is a private, controlling, and charismatic person whose character in the fable is a surrogate for anyone who has been successful in the past only to find him- or herself “stuck” in an unsatisfying status quo. Franklin realizes that change is inevitable, but he is unsure about the most appropriate direction, timing, and approach for the change. The fable follows Franklin’s transformation from being the “hub to every spoke” in the foundation to being a trusting, vulnerable, collaborative leader in his JUMP! forward.

Jennifer Boyle

Jennifer has worked for the Falcon Foundation for more than 20 years, originally starting as a case manager, who then ascends to the positions of executive director and eventually president. Jennifer is a respected, clear- headed leader with excellent communication, organization, and facilitation skills and is someone who isn’t afraid to cast a big vision and then work to deliver it. Jennifer’s courage is a key element in getting the foundation to create real outcomes from the Aha! moments they experience.

Ernesto Martinez

Ernesto is a bookish scientist (who specializes in quantum mechanics) whose character offers the experience of a survival journey as well as insight into the mysteries of quantum stuff. His character is virtually egoless, and as a former Falcon Family “kid,” his motivations are focused simply on assisting Franklin and the foundation. He also offers some comic relief through his nerdiness and self-effacing humor.

Marty Wright

Marty passed away a few years ago, but his memory is strong within the Falcon Foundation. Marty represents a source of trusted wisdom even after his death, and his influence continues to accelerate the energy of those around him. His legacy was to always bring out the best in the situations in which, and the people around which, he found himself. The members of the foundation team refer to Marty’s vestigial influence in improving things as “being Wrighted.”

Jo Falcon

Joanna (Jo) Falcon is a pragmatic, decisive, and strong person who has an affinity for simple, powerful philosophy. She is the yin to Franklin’s yang, as she balances his brooding nature with her direct manner. She clearly loves and supports Franklin unconditionally, but she’s not afraid to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.

Angela Liu and Liu Ping

Angela is a high school senior from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, whose family has been served by the Falcon Foundation for about 10 years. Angela is a genuinely compassionate and caring person who was raised by her parents to “do the right thing.” Her self-less nature leads her to ask her social network to help Mr. Falcon. Angela’s mother, Ping, is a loving, highly spiritual woman and is someone who isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. Her pro-active and positive question of Mr. Falcon begins the entire process of transformation for him and the foundation.

Marissa Grant

Marissa Grant is a TV personality from New York who is driven by her ego, her need to be important, and her anger. She’s a bitter, bullying person who is bent on avenging the fact she and her family were rejected by the Falcon Foundation due to her cheating on the admissions essay. She has not forgiven Franklin or the foundation, nor has she taken accountability for her actions.

Greg Sullivan

Greg has worked for the foundation for many years and eventually finds himself promoted to the role of CFO, replacing Marty Wright. I’ll admit that Greg is a stereotype—but his character is one that I see in almost every organization, no matter how large. He is stuck, he knows he’s stuck, and yet he is completely committed to being stuck. He has no interest in looking at things in new ways; he just wants to do more of the same. He also takes no accountability for his role in the problems encountered by the foundation; instead, he’s quick to blame others.

Nicole Fargas

Nicole is relatively young (late 20s) but is someone who possesses extensive success in the world of non-profit fund-raising. Her upbringing in a tough Philadelphia neighborhood gave her a no-fear attitude that she tempers with a dry sense of humor. She also has an affinity for philosophy, as she introduces the executive team to the energy-based message in Monsters, Inc. Her youthful enthusiasm and can-do attitude assist the executive team in moving forward.

Terrence Kennedy

Terrence is also a member of a former Falcon Family (who like Ernesto is one of the “kids”). Terrence’s family comes from rural Georgia (USA), and he is descended from the sharecroppers who became landowners following the Civil War. He focuses on serving the needs of the Falcon Families and has difficulty in separating himself from his role at the foundation at times. He is conflicted in the fable—clearly he is someone who has benefited from the history of the foundation, but also someone who knows the foundation’s old approaches aren’t sustainable into the future.

Elaine Gustavson

Elaine is an experienced HR professional who grew up in the American Midwest. Her Swedish heritage gives her a solid work ethic and a practical approach to solving problems. She was brought to the foundation by Franklin with the intention of establishing a new culture wherein each employee would reach his or her maximum potential. However, Franklin’s controlling nature thwarted Elaine’s efforts. She also brings to bear her experience from a former employer, an organization that ultimately failed due to its inability to transform.

Betty Agassi

Betty is Franklin’s personal administrative assistant and is an immigrant from Iran. She is a caring, dedicated person who takes pro-active steps to do the right thing. While for much of the book she seems to be almost in a subservient role, she, too, undergoes a personal transformation. Her character becomes overtly assertive as she demonstrates her conviction to do the right things. She steps out of the background to act as a powerful leader.

Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca Anderson is in her mid-to-late 20s and is a shy, intelligent, and caring schoolteacher from a small town in eastern Australia. She traveled to Colorado to attend her sister’s wedding and found herself at the La Quinta Inn in Loveland after becoming stuck in the snow. Her character shows the power of non-locality through the fact that she and her students back in Australia become part of the solution.

Jack and Jason Miller

The Miller family was traveling from San Antonio, Texas when they got stuck in the snowstorm in Loveland. Jack introduces the readers to Destination ImagiNation (read more in the next section of the Appendix) and brings forward the concept of making unexpected connections. Jason Miller is 12 years old, clearly very familiar with the tools of social networking, and able to help the adults in the story make sense of the information coming from Facebook.

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