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Burning Platform Best Practices

A Burning Platform is a metaphor used to explain the necessity of change despite the fear of the unknown consequences. This metaphor was derived from the fatal explosion of an oil drilling platform in which one survivor had to chose to jump into a sea of burning oil rather than burn on the platform. This metaphor serves to describe a situation in which action (i.e., costly change) is required and maintenance of the status quo is no longer an option as doing so would be even more harmful.

More about Burning Platform

Description of Burning Platform

It is important to be able to identify issues in an organization that can potentially become – if they are not already – a Burning Platform situation. A Burning Platform occurs in an organization when there is an existing crisis that, in order to be solved, requires that a finite number of difficult choices be made. In the field of change management, the concept of a burning platform is the basis for creating urgency and the recognition of the need for change.

Like the survivors of the oil platform explosion, business leaders are often faced with undesirable choices. Specifically, deciding to change. Often, however, change is inevitable, and the story of the explosion exemplifies how essential it is to respond in a proactive manner to situations such as these and to relay messages about the importance of taking risks and implementing deep-seated change. In situations where change is imperative, it is no longer acceptable to perpetuate the norm. This is because maintaining the norm could mean the demise of the organization and its survival is only achieved through fundamental change. To create change in an organization using the Burning Platform metaphor, it is critical to create a message that indicates the urgency and gravity of the potential result of maintaining the status quo.

Praxie's Online Burning Platform Tools & Templates

Unlike most traditional Burning Platform templates in MS Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, Praxie’s online Burning Platform collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms.

To apply the Burning Platform metaphor, consider problems that require immediate attention and determine why making fundamental changes would be advantageous. Then, describe the disadvantages associated with keeping things as they are. Get started with our Burning Platform Statement template.  

How to use it:

  1. Complete the matrix to identify your current and anticipated problems and opportunities.  
  2. Based on your analysis, write a burning platform statement using the burning platform formula. 
  3. Create an action plan based on your burning platform statement. 

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