The function of friction

Find the friction that brings shine, without making scratches

Change happens in the conversation we have about it. That conversation rarely goes smoothly. And so it should. A good conversation also releases friction. That’s why in the Netherlands we have a saying: ‘without friction no shine’.

But there is also friction that makes scratches, because it polarises the relationship. On the other hand a conversation can also bring too little friction. We avoid the real conversation because we don’t want negativity. But then nothing changes.

How do you engage in a cutting edge conversation about change in such a way that you make progress and at the same time build a stronger relationship?


We start with a plea for friction in change, but only the functional kind. Then we dive into several tension fields that are waiting for you when you take on the role of change agent. Then five pitfalls become clear that make scratches, and we look at how to overcome them.

The speaker

My name is Annemarie Mars. As a change consultant, author and speaker, I help change agents to find the essential conversation to change together.

Writing is my way of learning. I continually reflect on what I see change agents – including myself – doing. This way I created a practical and coherent body of knowledge on change management. Over the past twenty years I have published seven books and 86 blogs. The book “How to get commitment?” has sold more than 20,000 copies. It is frequently used in higher education and management courses. I have also developed a podcast series called ‘The Art of Finding’. In February 2021 my latest book ‘The function of friction’ was published.

Warming up

Feel free to browse the rest of my website. For example by reading my blog. Here are some suggestions about the theme of this presentation:

Hope to see you soon!