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Let’s Talk Trust

As a consultant with Change2020, I work with a range of different leaders, in a variety of industry sectors.  Some of the challenges they are grappling with are different, but one thing they are all focussed on is fostering trust.  While it is easy to write and say, it is something that takes time to build and no time to erode.

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Our attitudes impact our ability to thrive in our ambiguous world. It is evident that technology is changing the workplace as we know it; we face higher expectations, faster turnarounds, more unclear objectives and greater competition. Are we equipped to handle this growing ambiguity at any age?

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Trust the values-based currency

Trust is the currency of strong values, successful service delivery and great relationships and organisations are twisting themselves into knots to find out how to empower their employees. Put simply, we at Change2020 work hard to build trust and break down barriers in order to help transform organisations, teams and individuals. However, when the level of expectation between two parties differs it can lead to an inherent conflict of trust that is difficult to overcome. While this may seem straightforward, the question for leaders’ is: do we really demonstrate trust in our people, despite what we say?

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Curiosity – the ingredient for success

Building resilience and curiosity are integral to the delivery of successful change. They embody human and emotive issues and, as a result, create a critical need to focus on mindset in order to establish a foundation for acceptance of change. This involves constantly breaking down mental barriers in order to establish trust and genuine connection, necessitating emotionally intelligent leadership and an adaptive approach to engagement. Adopting an agile mindset and ultimately a questioning culture within teams will drive high performance underpinned by collaboration, innovation and diversity within an organisation. Curiosity is the foundation of an agile mindset; it is a shared way of thinking that drives both personal growth and organisational development by focusing on the ‘why’ in different and often unexpected situations.

One of the principle reasons curiosity is integral to the agile mindset is that often organisations operate in a state of ambiguity. The adage that past behaviour predicts future performance is increasingly outdated. Performance, including commercial success, is not straightforward as many organisations currently working towards new business models would recognise; however, it can still be tempting to interrogate outdated data or hold strong beliefs based on old assumptions. The mind is powerful, and the way in which we frame our perception or expectation from a situation is heavily influenced by our past patterns of thinking and behaviour. Curiosity is a trait that can be learnt, applied and practiced in order to be open to new possibilities, allowing progressive change and evolution in an organisation to unfold.

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With the Christmas period approaching and the impending ‘shutdown’ upon us; many leaders are grappling with the thought of letting go, winding down and ultimately checking out. At Change2020 we too are often enslaved to our digital technologies but are very supportive of #digitaldetox and the overwhelming health benefits that this provides leaders and employees. In a recent article published in “The Conversation” it is a growing trend that people are seeking “digital free” holiday destinations in remote areas to force their hand and put down devices.  So aside from a trip to a glacier on Alaska’s icy shores, with the knowledge of so many different mediums to use for contact-WhatsApp, Instagram and even Facebook- the question is “How does one embark on a “digital free” summer?

Here are 3 quick tips to help you go “dark” this festive season:

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Inside the Black Box: Mergers and Acquisitions

With start-up culture thriving and businesses needing to constantly evolve and think on their feet, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) have become more appealing than ever. Nevertheless, they can present a unique set of challenges on many levels. Under this landscape, two businesses are forming into one entity (merger) or one business is purchasing and taking over the other (acquisition.) The appeal and challenge is in the newness of absorbing a competitor or rebuilding and conducting business optimisation on operations to maximise efficiency, productivity and profit. The fear is in the unknown and the vast desire to move quickly. The answers are all inside the black box.

Where do we find the information we need to make the decision? What do we disclose to the buyer? How much do we share to the potential acquirer? When do we give out the secret sauce?

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Leading change in a world of transformation

As the buzzwords of innovation and technology continue to grow, the desire for change will continue to evolve. The standard roles and systems will continue to be taken over by newer technology and automation. But the hunt for skilled and evolving workers will not end. Those at risk, are those that are not developing and embracing the change.

Imagine a few of the most successful and “busiest” leaders; how do you believe they spend their time? Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, read one book a week during the most demanding time in his career. Warren Buffett spent 80% of his time in reading and creative thinking throughout his career. You may be asking yourself, why?

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The Future of Work remains, as always, a hot topic. Organisations are starting to understand how technology and digitisation enables people to work smarter, faster and see change as the new norm. As experts in Change and Transformation, we see many organisations simply not considering or preparing for The Future of Work; avoiding or ignoring the changes is not a viable strategy; organisations must be willing to adapt to this changing landscape.

The Future of Work contains several key elements affecting our traditional workplaces – in this article we discuss three of these. The first being the question and discussion around the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the automation of our jobs and whether there will genuine and valuable work for humans to do. The second is what human skills and capabilities will be required such as emotional intelligence and creativity. Thirdly, changing models of work and work environments with the rise of freelancing, the gig economy and the increasing demand for flexible working patterns for employees.

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Unexpected Outcomes

When going on holidays, most of us have some kind of plan and or things we would be interested in seeing; experiencing or doing.  At one extreme, some people plan their holidays with ‘laser precision’ – organising daily accommodation; restaurants and activities.  While others may know the towns or cities they will visit – and that’s about it. Whichever approach, travel leads to both expected and unexpected (my favourite) outcomes.

Unexpected outcomes also come about when we are coaching individual leaders. When coaching an individual, we often start with a diagnostic [to gain data], and as an input to the development objectives.  During the six to 12-month coaching program we work with the individual to ensure that development objectives are met (if not exceeded).  And often, the coaching program leads to unexpected outcomes.

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“Organisational culture is essential to the success of any business. In the early childhood education sector, it is particularly important, as parents know that their children will benefit from a positive culture.

Often, we think of culture and leadership from an internal, human resources perspective, but given the way it influences service provision, customers often take organisational culture into account when selecting a business. Culture affects employees – both positively and negatively, and when deciding what centre to choose for their family, the most important factor influencing parents is the quality of educators, which means focusing on organisational culture in childcare is the basis of being customer-centric.”

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