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Connections

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was in the final stage of the weekly shop.  I selected a checkout manned by a young guy (he looked about 12 but I am sure he was older!).  Bradley (his name badge gave him away) was friendly and we undertook the usual pleasantries, until something happened.

He started saying something and then he stopped himself.  Being a curious person, I asked him to share what he had been going to say.

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The Art of Positive Reflection

Who doesn’t love a Friday afternoon, a time to slide into the weekend, take a breath, reflect on the past week and smile with the knowledge that perhaps a sleep-in is coming your way (if you managed to wrap up the cricket season with the kids!), or a chance to catch-up with friends and chill rather than racing around. These Fridays are even better when it is the end of a month or a quarter – you can really reflect on how things have been going in all facets of your life – did I achieve what I set out to do, have I learnt anything, did I challenge myself, did I make progress?

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Always Learning

I had a few hours between clients while in the regional New South Wales town of Lismore. I decided to use my time wisely and go to the local library (rather than a coffee shop) to get some work done (instead of drinking copious amounts of coffee that I don’t need!).

I was really impressed by the number and variety of people who were in the library.  No one was wasting time. They all appeared to be learning – either on the computers or reading the books/journals.

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Sparkling from Within

I was speaking to my 13-year-old niece the other day and she was telling me about a situation where she was fearful of putting her best self forward as she was worried about what others could think or say. She reminded me of myself at that age – not only in looks – but also in thinking.

Fast forward a few decades (quite a few actually) and while the 13-year-old version of myself sometimes emerges – this behaviour thankfully, has (mostly) long gone.

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Change Analyst – Calling all graduates looking for a kick-start in their career!

About Change2020:

Change2020’s vision is to Embrace ambiguity. We are privileged to partner with businesses Australia wide as they navigate change and embrace the unknown. We partner closely with clients to facilitate transformation and help individuals and organisations to see the opportunities within change! Due to recent growth, we are on the hunt for our next change superstar!

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Embrace Ambiguity – Research Update

Tolerance of Ambiguity Study

In November 2016, Change2020 and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) formed a partnership under the Federal Government’s Innovation Connections initiative, to progress research on an individual’s tolerance of ambiguity (in the work context).  The Innovation Connections initiative supports industry-led collaborations between researchers and small and medium enterprises.

Since November 2016, a comprehensive literature review has been completed in parallel with a factor analysis and review of Change2020 existing tools and data.  These inputs have shaped a pool of questions that are currently being piloted, validated and tested with over 300 respondents.

The data gathered from this process will shape the final tolerance of ambiguity survey; and identify what factors will make the most significant difference to helping people increase their tolerance of ambiguity in the workplace.

It is an exciting time for Change2020 and we would like to thank QUT – Business School for the work completed to date.

Watch this space for further insights and findings and this important research continues.

Like everyone else the team at Change2020 are having a final push towards the end of the year with some huge deliverables and lots of productive discussions.  It’s a time when the forthcoming break feels like a huge milestone, and I often think that this is because it’s the one holiday when we tend to truly relax and aim to do very little (after all that shopping and cooking, of course)!  Just some time to pause, reflect and reset.  As we look back on the development of our business over the past 12 months, it is with a sense of purpose and pride – at what has been accomplished and what is propelling us ahead on our very exciting journey.  Yes, this year Change2020 has taken on new paths and grown in a business sense, but really it has been the story of our ‘growing up’ as an organisation and the forging of an exciting agenda built around Embrace Ambiguity.

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The world is evolving rapidly and change management needs to be at the top of corporate agendas to ensure long term survival.

The commercial environment and the nature of work undergoes tremendous upheaval – driven by technological change and disruption not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

In a world of volatility and uncertainty, embracing ambiguity is the name of the game. Business executives who fail to proactively lead change management are jeopardising not just their organisation’s long term prosperity, but its very survival.

According to Boston Consulting group, 75% of current Fortune 500 companies will no longer be on the list by 2020 simply because of an inability to change with the times.

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Being Malleable

While it is a very long time ago, I still remember being in my year 8 science class and first learning about malleable metals (e.g. gold, silver, copper, lead and aluminium) – those metals that can be hammered, pressed or rolled into thin sheets without breaking.  This was around the same time the Periodic Table became my friend as I learnt a “song” to help me to remember all the elements.  (As an aside, a cute modern day version of a song can be found on YouTube)

Since that time I have always been attracted to the word malleable (particularly now that I can spell it).  This interest further peaked as I moved into leadership roles combined with the discoveries in neuroscience (the study of the nervous system and the brain).  Neuroplasticity is the term used when referring to the malleability of the brain. Neuroscience has proved that it is possible to change the way we behave with the motivation and support – due to the brain’s malleability.

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Belief really can make a difference!

What a treat for our sporting nation – the two key codes of football celebrating grand final wins with the underdogs getting up on both occasions. Having grown up with an almost obsessive love for AFL, I am absolutely delighted that the Western Bulldogs are the 2016 premiers (even though I am a passionate and long suffering Carlton supporter)!

How does a team come from 7th on the ladder to win the flag? How do they overcome a 62-year premiership drought? How do they manage to play as a high performing team week after week even though their beloved and highly skilled captain was injured early in the 2016 season?

My observation – they believed they could do it. They were 100% focused on the outcome, they had a shared goal, a goal which was largely shared by the entire western suburban population of Melbourne.

So often we use sporting analogies in the business world; it seems apt, in a sporting team everyone must know their role, commit to maintaining and building their skills, always be there to play their role in the game, recognise the strengths of others and provide opportunities for them to be optimised, operate selflessly, communicate continually, reflect on performance and opportunities for improvements and always remain focused on the goal, in this instance the premiership.

While the analogy works we are rarely treated to leadership and teamwork such as that demonstrated by high performing sporting teams. There is no doubt that the busy changing world we operate in creates challenges for teams to remain aligned or high performing, but surely they should never lose sight of the goal?

If we believe in what we do, why we do it and our role in it, then regardless of the rapidly changing environment we are faced with, alignment, high performance and ultimately achieving the goal is more likely.

How do you create ‘belief’ in the workplace?

  1. Share the ‘why’ – ensure every person knows why the business, service or team exists; it builds engagement, ownership and belief, it creates the story which employees can place themselves in
  2. Be clear on roles so each person knows how they can contribute to the goal
  3. Keep everyone informed, celebrate successes and share learnings from mistakes
  4. Encourage ideas from all parts of the business, listen, consider and give feedback
  5. Invest in skills and behaviours of your team so they are equipped to achieve the goal
  6. Recognise that leadership can emerge from anywhere at any time, encourage it!

The ecstasy of the Western Bulldogs win will easily carry them through the off-season while they enjoy a well-earned break. But first, they will take a deep breath, they will celebrate, they will reflect on their role in this momentous event and they will demonstrate thanks to every supporter who shared in their belief that anything is possible!