Tag: Change Management Planning and Execution

Case Study: Leading through Change

Have you even led or been part of a team struggling to lead through change and continue to move forward? It can feel daunting and destined for failure when you don’t have the tools or expertise to support your team. We love success stories and following is an example of how Change2020 successfully took a financial services client on a path from change resistance to change leadership with a sustainable and positive outcome.

Following recent major regulatory change across the finance industry and significant planned internal changes within their business, our client had identified the need to increase the capacity of their line management to lead change within their teams.

The People and Culture General Manager approached Change2020 to facilitate a process to gain understanding and increase the capacity to lead through change and ensure the company was set up for success.

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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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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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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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This report explores the changing landscape in Australia’s Aged Care industry. Since the start of the Living Longer, Living Better initiative in 2012, the aged care industry has been transforming into a market-driven economy dictated by the consumers. These consumers comprise the ever-increasing aged population and their children, who now have the freedom to direct their funds to whichever service is most suitable and delivers the best customer experience. Competition is the future of aged care services and now is the time for businesses to consider the best way to change and transform their operations from a not-for-profit focus to a not-for-loss focus, so they can offer the best product and remain relevant.

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‘Change is not a Gantt Chart’

Over the years of working in the change space, it is not uncommon for Change2020 to be asked by the organisations we partner with, ‘what does your Gantt Chart look like?’, ‘How does your Gantt Chart differ from the other consultancies?’, ‘Are you as sick and tired of producing these as we are reading them?’However, what lies at the heart of sustainable and agile change management is how it is executed. Like anything, it has a discipline about it, and that is how we – as change partners – prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organisational success and outcomes. Jargon aside, what does the research tell us?

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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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Belief really can make a difference!

Creating a Culture of Belief in the Workplace

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!

Nine Habits to Embrace Ambiguity

Recently Change2020 launched the Embrace ambiguity movement. This movement is about firstly acknowledging where your tolerance of ambiguity sits and then taking action to Embrace ambiguity – both at home and at work.

At Change2020, we believe that Embracing ambiguity is imperative if you are to remain relevant as a leader.  Research also identifies that “leaders who are comfortable with uncertainty and competent under ambiguous conditions might very well provide a competitive advantage to organisations”[1].

So, if relevancy and having a competitive advantage are important to you, is it time to jump on board and join the Embrace ambiguity movement.

Joining the movement is simple, the first step is to complete our survey by clicking here to determine your tolerance of ambiguity.

We have developed nine habits that will assist you to Embrace ambiguity.

These are:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Take the reins
  3. Focus on what matters
  4. Rewire expectations
  5. Hatch butterfly moments
  6. Open the floodgates
  7. Challenge idea killers
  8. Be courageous
  9. Let go and move on

Over the next nine weeks will be releasing a blog on each of these habits. Watch out for these to build your tolerance to Embrace ambiguity.

[1] White, R.P. and Shullman, S.L., Acceptance of Uncertainty as an Indicator of Effective Leadership, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 2010, Vol 62, No 2, 94 – 104

 

Keeping yourself informed in your business

No one tells me anything!

“Nobody ever tells me anything around here!”

How many times have we heard that?  Or “communication is hopeless in our business, we are like mushrooms, always kept in the dark!

While I will be the first to admit that we have worked with many leaders who lack communication and in particular storytelling capabilities and experience, and may not prioritise communication or are not skilled in ensuring they are ‘on message’, we rarely work with leaders who intentionally keep people in the dark.

Recently when working on a major acquisition, there were rumblings from across the teams that ‘we don’t know what is going on, no one is telling us anything’, so we investigated the communication forums, channels and initiatives available to the largely centralised organisation. There appeared to be several ways to learn more about the acquisition – CEO Update, intranet updates, toolbox talks, lunch and learn, team briefs, branded newsletter blasts, fortnightly videos – ‘what it means for our function’, the obligatory bathroom and kitchen posters and of course key messages were provided to all leaders to deliver during their standard team meetings. So, why was the “Mushroom Syndrome” so alive and well across the business? My theory – there was resistance, scepticism and almost a laziness from some individual’s about keeping themselves informed. If the information was not delivered in the way I wanted it, by whom I wanted it delivered by, then I did not feel informed!

But where is the responsibility to keep yourself informed?

Communication is two-way, we interpret and we listen, it is also multi-faceted, we can gather enormous amounts of information through questioning, observing, involving ourselves and most simply, reading the available information and actively listening when it is relayed at various forums.

Regardless of position, duration or experience; there is a responsibility to keep yourself informed, some easy options include:

  • Be present in meetings and actively listen, if you don’t understand something or require more information, ask a question or follow up
  • Allocate time each week to read the content which has been uploaded or emailed
  • Volunteer to be a part of projects or focus groups; get involved
  • Adopt a growth mindset, instead of assuming you are being kept in the dark, seek information to feed the gap in your knowledge
  • Share what you know with others
  • If you hear people saying, no one ever tells me anything, ask them “what have you done to keep yourself informed?”

We live in a highly complex, rapidly changing world where the luxury of waiting until all data is available before communicating an outcome is becoming a thing of the past. However the positive of operating in a highly complex, rapidly changing world means there are many times when the unknown is a real opportunity to test, challenge, query and learn – and we do all of this by keeping ourselves informed.

A lesson from early school days – if you don’t know, you need to ask!