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Who am I?

I’m Randall Benson, a long-time management consultant and occasional author. I spent most of my career helping leaders achieve significant organizational and community change. My book, The Quest Effect, captures my insights about complex change, transformation, and breakthroughs. Since my book, I’ve had the urge to continue writing, so I hope this blog will provide an outlet.


Why am I blogging?

I’ve enjoyed a long and rewarding consulting career, and I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with clients who tackled complex change and often created breakthrough transformations. Along the way, I developed a unique framework for navigating complex change. Transformation, radical change, and breakthroughs are typically complex. Consequently, complex change is where the high-leverage opportunities reside.

I want to share my hard-earned wisdom with you and, in that way, pay it forward. Sharing what I know through these blogs is how I want to contribute.

Why am I qualified?

I’ve been fascinated by complex change for over 20 years since I first applied those principles to my client work. I’ve invested over 20,000 hours studying and applying complex-change concepts—this is the subject I know at a deep level.

I’ve enjoyed working with dozens of change leaders in business, government, healthcare, and communities. I’ve been excited and often amazed by the results, particularly when compared to traditional change management approaches. My clients have had consistent success with complex change, often achieving remarkable outcomes, including:

  • A hospital corporation created the nation’s fastest emergency department
  • An international airport achieved a top-5 rating worldwide in customer service (after never making the top 100)
  • A hospital increased its throughput by over 40% with the same staff and facility
  • A cruise line achieved complete booking for all cruises for the first time in its history
  • A community organization helped African American renters buy their
  • first homes, thereby dramatically increasing household wealth
  • A truck parts factory doubled its output with the same staff and facility

The Quest Effect Book

When I wrote The Quest Effect, I sought to share my insights about succeeding at complex change. I laid out the framework for navigating change that I had used with my clients. Since then, I’ve learned a great deal more, and I want to share it here.

My college education focused on economics and industrial technology, and I went on to earn an M.B.A. in operations management. Since my school days, I have delved into various areas, including organizational change, complexity sciences, mythography, and the history of exploration. The intersections of these interests helped me create the Quest Framework.

What will I be blogging about?

I’ll be blogging about change management, more specifically about navigating and guiding complex change. Distinguishing between complex change and complicated change is the golden key. It unlocks a new universe of opportunity and new levers of power. I’m excited to share that world with you.

Topics I want to explore:

  • Complexity and complex change principles
  • Using the Quest Framework for navigating complex change
  • Fascinating stories and legends about real and fictional quests
  • Case studies about applying the Quest Framework to complex change
  • Guidance from my book, The Quest Effect
  • Applying complex change principles to pressing world problems

I hope you’ll discover practical wisdom, unsettling ideas, bold concepts, new paradigms, and some essential advice.

I’ll strive for a regular pace for publishing posts.

Who am I writing for?

Are you a change agent or change advisor? Do you want to master complex change? Do you have an uncomfortable sense that traditional change management doesn’t work? If so, then I’m writing to you!

Do you sometimes feel insecure about achieving and sustaining meaningful change? Do the available tools feel inadequate? Are the stakes high, and failure is not an option? Is your job or reputation on the line? If so, I’ve been there, and I’m writing to you!

I remember working with a nurse director for a hospital system’s emergency departments (EDs). Her EDs were horribly overcrowded and dangerously underperforming. She knew she needed radical change. She also knew that the three consulting reports sitting on her desk would only lead to pedestrian results. While she didn’t have the words for it at that time, she knew down deep that those reports were offering traditional approaches that didn’t fit the complex change she was facing. Unfortunately, those approaches would ultimately fail.

She decided to take a chance on a new framework developed specifically for complex change. Her team’s results were stunning – the emergency departments became the fastest EDs in the country and attained virtually empty waiting rooms. As a result, those EDs became a national benchmark for excellence, and she earned the Healthcare Leader of the Year award.

She wasn’t just lucky; she had a better framework. I want to make what she accomplished available to other change agents and advisors.

How can you get involved?

I want to hear from you! Please comment on the blogs. Send questions and comments. Subscribe so you’ll know when new content is available. I’ll also make helpful downloads available in the future — feel free to use them. Ultimately, I hope to create a resource area where visitors can access deeper content and project tools.

My background

I’ve lived much of my life in Seattle before moving to one of the San Juan Islands in Washington State. I now enjoy life in Bellingham, a port city on the Washington coast, near the Canadian border. I enjoy playing bluegrass music (guitar, bass, and banjo), trekking the Washington wilderness, bicycling the backroads, and photographing nature.