The “Crawl Walk Run” approach is a great way for executives to frame and communicate change.  This is particularly useful and most relevant to organizations growing from mid-size to enterprise.

During this transition, organizations need to create scalable processes, implement enterprise-wide systems, and potentially redefine their organizational structure.  When faced with a lot of changes, it is important to prioritize them in a way that an organization can understand and execute against.

To do this, executives often structure changes under the Crawl Walk Run framework, where

  • Crawl changes are immediate quick wins.  They can be implemented easily and lay the groundwork for bigger, more impactful changes down the road.
  • Walk changes are near-term.  These have a longer time frame than the Crawl changes.  These may included process changes, easy IT upgrades, or headcount changes.
  • Run changes are long-term objectives.  In the Run state, an organization will embrace world class leading practices.  These changes may include an ERP implementation, a organizational restructure, or adoption of an outsourcing model.

As one would suspect, there are standard Crawl Walk Run diagrams used in PowerPoint presentations.  On an initial slide, the Crawl Walk Run framework is presented with a high level descriptions capturing each of the Crawl, Walk, and Run stages.  Then, successive slides dive deeper into each stage, breaking down the specific changes and target time frames for completion.

You can find Crawl Walk Run diagrams and templates at LearnPPT.—Crawl-Walk-Run.php

There are also many variations to this rudimentary framework to illustrate different levels of change and progress, including:

  • Crawl, Walk, Run, Sprint!
  • Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly!
  • Crawl, Creep, Walk, Run

This article was written by David Tracy.

Questions, thoughts, concerns?  Go to my site ( and shoot me an email.

For pre-made PowerPoint diagrams used in business presentations, browse our library here:  These diagrams were professionally designed by management consultants. Give your presentations the look and feel of a final product made by McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Booz Allen, Deloitte, or any of the top consulting firms.

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