The winds are changing. Who would have thought the Financial market would have sunk in 2008. Who would have thought Britain would vote to leave European Union (BrExit) in June this year. What’s the next surprise around the corner?
We are living and working in an era where organisations that are good at managing change will not succeed and prosper, but those who establish a culture that nurtures transformation will.
To become an organisation that can skilfully ride the transformation wave without sinking beneath its accelerating and disruptive pace, there are three golden rules to follow. Just like a skilled surfer who trains on proven techniques so he or she can surf the wave that develops with unpredictable intensity, scale and direction as it picks up pace.
Before we get to the rules here is a checklist of evidence that will help you recognise if your organisation is successfully nurturing transformation. If you fancy a self – assessment use a rating scale of 1-10 for each statement. 1 = not at all, 5 = sometimes and 10 = all the time.
Employees (not just leaders) are proactively making creative and successful changes to the business model, portfolio and processes.
Customers are sharing positive stories on social media and are actively collaborating in developing your futures strategies.
Millenniums and start up entrepreneurs are flocking to your organisation as employees, suppliers, investors, specialist partners, freelancers.
Leaders are skill-fully adhering to the essence of the statement, ‘Strategy is developed hourly and not annually.’.
On an average teams are consistently outperforming.
In such organisations words like adaptability, resilience, collaboration, focus, nimble, creative, and being risk takers is inbuilt in the way business is done and experienced by customers. They are not words that bounce around training rooms and forgotten thereafter. They are the way of life by people not just at the work place but also in their personal lives.
If you were doing the self assessment rating to the list above, please observe the score you gave for each statement. A score above 8 in every statement is the indicator that you have a culture that nurtures transformation. If you did rate your organisation above 8 in each statement then you are indeed making the most of accelerating change around you. Congratulations and well done!
For those who wish to get better at the transformation game, here are the 3 golden rules which will get you in a short time period. If you would like to have a chat with me on any of these topics, please do contact me. I would love to discuss and work with HR teams and Leaders who wish are interested in the same topic.
Golden Rule 1. Train your people to become Change Makers
Transformation makes people insecure, shaky and nervous about the future especially those who have been working in an established organisations for a long time. Its human instinct and its natural. You cannot disregard it, you cannot ignore, steam roll or fight it. We are creatures of habit. So what do you do?
Help them to ‘dig deep’ inside themselves and become aware of what they are ‘naturally’ good at. Then create a space to develop and fine tune their personal unique strategy to become Change Makers by playing to their strengths.
Train them with rigour. Let them be aware that natural talents are not the ones that they are outperforming on because of years of training and experience. They are the ones that energise them. Get them in the flow and find their pace.
Train them in a way that they are not over-using their strengths. We all have heard about team members or managers who drive others crazy with their ‘over analysis’ or ‘ideating abilities’ or ‘need to include multiple stakeholders’ or ‘organising.’ Many times these are natural strengths being over-used. We call that an ‘edge’..like falling off a cliff!
Think about it differently. With the fast pace of change around us would you not wish to first look or look less towards areas of personal development, rather first power them up to gain mastery over strengths which are their natural energisers? My suggestion is train people and teach them how to combat what they lack in by using their strengths.
Train line managers on how to work with strengths. Most organisations have a section in Performance review forms or Appraisal sheets to note down ‘Strengths’ but we do not train leaders and line manager on how to capitalise on people strengths. On the other hand we have multiple options, list of training programs, mentors etc to address areas of development. It’s no surprise then that Performance discussions have a brief acknowledgement on Strengths and a long discussion on Development Plans!! Does your organisation train leaders and line managers on how to use strengths?
Take it up a notch and train teams to recognise each other’s strengths, play to each other’s strengths and mitigate each other’s ‘edges!’
Golden Rule 2. Power Up your organisation with unlimited energy
Change is exhausting and only motivation talks will not help. How many companies we know start transformation projects with a bang, only for it to fizzle out as fatigue sets in. The thought of Phase 2 of any transformation programme sets in a state of rigor mortis, panic and catabolic energy levels laced with anger, resistance and burnout! How do you unravel a source of energy that can effectively provide a power for constant change?
One proven way is to equip a small number of employees (and not just leaders) in understanding how to unleash the energy source within themselves. In my Coaching institute we called this Energy Leadership. By implication individuals become more resilient, learn to tap into their creativity and intuitive side, are able to connect the dots and see the bigger picture, manage multiple conflicting priorities, raise their productivity levels whilst reducing stress levels and outperform on their goals. Sounds good? There is more good news…
People who are trained on Energy leadership learn the art of shifting not only their own energy levels but also the energy levels of the people they interact and work with. So, in a nut shell they act like yeast in a bread dough! Infecting those around them with anabolic energy, playing to their strengths and sustaining a creative climate that will never tire of innovating and adapting whilst remaining grounded.
This is new age leadership skills required for every organisaion who wishes to nurture transformation.
Golden Rule 3. Make the Story an Insightful one
Storytelling is in our DNA. In every culture stories inspire us, capture our imagination and can galvanise us to action. Unfortunately, today the skill has been lost and its time to bring it back. The question I have for you is ‘whats your story?’ Not the story of ‘why you need to change.’ That I presume you have a good one. My question is, ‘Whats your inspiring story for establishing a climate and culture that nurtures transformation?’ Here are simple steps to develop an authentic insightful story.
Establish the problem, challenge and illustrate the conflict if there is no climate for change. Explain in detail how the conflict will escalate, how employees and customers will be impacted, how the harder elements like profits will get sluggish and the softer elements like goodwill, customer trust, market confidence will fail. Show them the possible pain.
Help them visualise the opportunity if the organisation is nimble and adaptive. Make it read for them. How and why will customers appreciate it, how the stakeholders and employees will be impacted… The possibilities. The good news. The outcomes. Make it personal to each one.
Then share with them a few ideas on what would need to change and what does not need to. Make it real. You do not have to know all the answers but you must know a few! In fact even if you know all the answers share only a few, the rest comes from employees as you catch their imagination and inspire them to new possibilities. Because they are the heroes of this story. Your teams, not just the leaders. Once the initial vision of a transformative culture is drafted, keep talking to build it!
Keep communicating as you collaborate to create a vibrant culture that nurtures Change Makers in your organisation.
Summary and Conclusion
You may wonder if these are the only three things that are needed to nurture a transformative culture? Remember the 80:20 rule? Where 20% of our efforts result in 80% of outcomes. Well, this is the 20% of effort that will get you 80% of energy, power, skill and engagement required to establish a culture that nurtures transformation.
It’s a brave new world out there and we are in this together. I wish you every success in your journey and would be delighted to have a chat if these topics interest you or if you wish to collaborate on projects Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reena Dayal is a certified Coach, Transformation Specialist, Trainer and Speaker. Her company ‘The Collaborators‘ specialises in working with Coaches, high potential talent, Business and Community Leaders, Teams and Organisations who wish to accelerate Performance, Growth and ride the Transformation wave. You can connect with her on LinkedIN.