If I type ‘Change’ into an online thesaurus there are forty synonyms that come back – and that’s just in the noun list! Of those forty I will guarantee that you have heard at least half of them in your workplace – they are the buzz words of contemporary business vernacular.
My personal favourite…. vicissitude – try saying that one five times fast (a warning to my clients – that one is going to start weaving its way into our conversations very soon)!
Ultimately though, it doesn’t really matter what you call it because the reality is that the impact that all sectors are experiencing from the way this world that we live in is evolving is big, and new, and forces all of us to put our thinking caps on to develop new proactive ways of staying on the top of this wave (whatever ‘this wave’ is for you) and getting in front of the next one.
So…what are you trying to get in front of at the moment? Are you caught in the ‘think tank’ of ‘managing the trends’? A lot of us are and it’s kind of exhausting because there are as many ‘trends’ out there at the moment as there are management consultants…. sometimes I feel like I need palm cards just to survive an industry event. Here’s some I bet you’ve heard a ‘few’ times:
Transformation: We’re not just changing anymore, we’re transforming. It’s like incremental step change, project change and organisational change all went through a metamorphosis and gained epic proportions that none of truly know what to do with next.
Disruption: Technology disruption, digital disruption, disruptive innovation, innovation vs disruption, big-bang disruption, the disruption machine… We’re all just a little bit scared of disruption aren’t we – when it’s going to hit, where it’s going to hit, how big it’s going to be, and most of all will I survive it?
And then there’s social media platforms, what to choose, when to post, what to post; SEO, SEM, Digital Strategy, Innovation Management, In the Cloud, On the line……….it goes on and on and on….
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish any of it or pretend these things don’t have a place, they most definitely do, but wouldn’t it be nice to take some of the oracle like fear out of it?
Change, transformation, disruption – none of these things are new – surely they are all signs of a thinking, evolving business ecosystem. Manage incremental change, leap into transformational change, embrace innovation from within and from outside your organisation, listen to your customers and what they are trying to achieve, respond with thoughtful, targeted responses and solutions, pull your head out of the day to day every now and then and think about how you can use your expertise (the reason people pay you $) to come up with a better way of doing something….just one thing. You will definitely change the way your organisation does things, you may transform your customers’ experiences, you could even disrupt your whole industry.
But in the process, take it easy on yourself. There’s no ‘fix all’ solution for how to manage change. You can’t universally apply a pre-cut template or prefabricated solution to every problem and expect that you will come out the other side unscathed, rocking your stuff down the red carpet heralding your superior knowledge of change, transformation and disruption. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes well informed stakeholders, it takes great teams that truly know their stuff, it takes partnerships with smart individuals and organisations that fill the gaps in your team’s knowledge, it takes checking your ego at the door and truly listening to others, it takes frameworks and models that make sense for YOUR reality not ALL realities, and it takes a great leader or leadership group that is driving the whole ship towards a well communicated vision of success.
There’s a few things that we do really well at OTM – helping our clients navigate and manage change and transformation is one of them. So tell us – what vision of success are you driving towards at the moment and how are you getting there?