By why, I don’t mean profit, that’s the result. By why, I mean what’s your purpose why are you doing what you do?” Simon Sinek

Article by Mark Gregory:

Over the years I have been involved in many change programmes both on the receiving end of the change or leading it. When on the receiving end more often than not these programmes never quite felt right to me.

Whilst I often understood the change at an intellectual level, the logic, often presented as some output or result benefit, cost, safety, quality, delivery etc. I found the organisations involved would fire immense amounts of detail at me; facts, figures, numbers and the customer feedback all offering me the compelling case for change. I would attend briefing after briefing were these figures would be explained and justified and re-justified. I would listen to other members of staff’s frustrations overflow in the form of some debate around what was being presented which would send the leaders into a further spiral of data and number justification. Which in turn would leave the majority of the audience talking about why this would never work.

What I observed through these experiences was that on the whole people got the numbers, they got the logic and they understood the business or economic reasons, but inside they held some emotion about the presented change that they could not quite release.

My conclusion was organisations spent a disproportionate amount of time explaining the logic and relatively no time on managing the emotion around the presentation of the logic. In the worst of these experiences they completely ignored it! Leadership just closed down and any dialogue became a one-way communication channel justified by some floored logic around consultation rules. Trust me, never a good place to be.

So when leading such activities I worked really hard to allow people to feel the change as well as intellectualise it. In my view there is never one solution to this issue but you have to focus on holding the balance of logic v emotion. A few useful principles I hold dear to help in this conundrum:

  • Take time to Understand: It is not about you or your organisation but the people within it. More often and not such programmes become about the organisational needs and the people just simply get lost. Stephen R. Covey said “Seek to understand before being understood.” This is definitely the case hear, organisations just don’t spend time seeking to understand. So think hard about this principle and how to do.
  • Leaders get lost too: Not sure about anyone else but for me to engage others I have to be engaged myself. This becomes even more critical in times of change. Leaders have emotion too and very often their emotion around change is just ignored as they stop becoming real people in the eyes of an organisation and become the logic communication vehicle. So think hard about how to manage the leader’s emotion.
  • Emotion is from a different place to logic: Emotion is about that part of our brain that visualises, it is about present and future, where imagination rules. Look at the mechanisms that connect with us here. Pictures of the future, feeling based forums and discussions, consider alternative conversational methodologies application based technologies. The focus here, think hard about creating powerful images of the future, so people can see the change.

In part one I spoke about if you want a different result then do some different stuff. My experience tells me organisations who focus on both logic and emotion are doing some different stuff.

Read more…. click to see the series 1, 3, 4

Recognise that the world is changing and the future looks very different from the past. What worked in the past may now be obsolete. A new future requires new ideas and perspectives.”

B J Gallagher Hateley

Article by Mark Gregory:

There has been much written on the subject of change and change management. As in the past I have spent large parts of my career trying leading organisations through periods of change, I have read most of them!

Whilst these texts are sound and predicated on research and observation of those organisations that have been successful at change, I often found they did not quite fit my situation and or set of particular circumstances. As a result I found myself, overtime, modifying and developing a metamorphosis of the best of these approaches. The result was a more practical, less abstract view of change. One that I found actually worked, not just for me but those I led.

The first of these change steps I learnt was obvious, simple and just plain common sense. However, as we have probably all heard and said at times common sense is not that common!

One: If you want a different result do some different stuff.

Told you it was simple! It has over the years, however, never ceased to amaze me how many leaders and organisations embark on change programmes but just behave and act in the same way. Sometimes these leaders and organisations even fool themselves into believing they are doing different things by setting up new forums with cross functional teams and giving them a fancy title in a demonstration of difference. They may start to talk about new topics or worse, rebadge the same topic they failed to implement last time. The reality is, however, nothing different actually happens and the same old level of change success is obtained.

Change has to start with change and that means different, a paradigm shift, in as many ways as possible: behaviour, language; communication; speed; clarity of purpose; people etc. Let me give you an example in one organisation I led there was a strong trade union power base and they were led by a group of ten senior representatives. Over the years the way the organisation had interacted with this group had varied slightly but fundamentally the ten always faced off to the organisation as one group. So how did the organisation operate? They too had ten leaders to meet the ten representatives. What was the result? The same position of negotiation and impasse, us against them, adversarial relationship. Yet I heard the organisation and the trade union saying they wanted a different result. So why do the same thing? My response as the new incumbent was to meet the representatives alone. Ten of them, one of me, the result was a paradigm shift that created a different response. Yes it took time, but ultimately it started a chain reaction of events that created a different result. That’s obvious I hear you cry. Well only when you are not in the thick of it and you can be objective. You will often hear me say we only know what we know and that often rings true in change.

So the simple message hear for all those embarking on change is if you want a different result then do some different stuff…..oh and by the way difference is not what you have always done in a different wrapper.

Read more…. click to see the series 2, 3,

Article by Mark Gregory:

As I go about my daily activity I can’t help but notice (as I am sure you can’t) the ever-increasing use of technology as part of our daily routine.

How the human race has gained a new appendage that is morphing into an extension of our anatomy, the mobile device! I was recently working in Ghana and was amazed by the prevalence of this mobile technology in areas of society where my western paradigm would of spent the funds required to operate a device on something more deserving.

The statistics that are flying around with respect to the use of this technology are also staggering. In a 2012 study by PA Consulting they concluded: Every 60 seconds on Facebook there are, 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, 136,000 uploaded photos. Out of 6 billion people on the plant, 4.8 billion have access to social media. 4.2 billion own a tooth brush. (not sure how they established this one, but I like it). In total 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month.

So what? I hear you say. Well the point is our use of this technology has become habitual. Morning, noon, night and every five minutes in-between. Which means there is an opportunity here to help people develop and for businesses to understand that development or for those (normally badged as finance) to assess the ROI of such development.

In my simple mind development at its core is about asking people to formulate and be consistent in the application of new habits. ‘I used to operate this way, in the future I am required to operate a new way.’ A new habit requires three elements knowledge (why do?), skill (how to do?) and attitude (want to do?).

This is why organisations like Slimming World and Alcoholics Anonymous are so successful. They do not just offer knowledge and skill but offer attitude by creating a community. The use of technology has over recent times become common place in the learning and development space with online training, webinars, surveys etc. Or in other words the knowledge and skill elements of habit generation. It is however in the attitude space the habitual nature of our technology usage can be really powerful.

For example what if I could offer my boss, my peers or colleagues real time feedback on how they are developing as a leader or conversely I was receiving feedback. What if I was able to receive helpful hints, tips, messages of encouragement or powerful stories of success on my development journey, my colleague’s development journey or my organisations development journey?

(Technically in app world known as “pushings”, when you receive data, adverts etc.). All this 24/7 with a few taps on a smart screen or laptop keyboard. Could I resist the urge to look when the little icon appears? And if I did look could it help me form and maintain the attitude to formulate and sustain new habits. My consistent mirror through dialogue anytime anywhere. I could be part of the community, the in crowd, those in the know and those who are doing it!

A third of the UK workforce is disengaged, costing organisations billions of pounds annually.

Most businesses want to increase productivity but they miss the key factor: employee engagement.

How can this be measured and how do you find out the impact on your business?

Unleash & Engage have created the Disengagement Calculator, designed to help you get real figures, straight to your inbox.