by Guest Blogger – Scott Newman

“Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?”  Sound familiar?  It’s probably less familiar than say 10 or 20 years ago.  Why might this be?  No doubt kids still read, however modern technology distracts the young mind and into a world of complete engagement, quite often to the point beyond parental frustration.   IMAGINE if your organisation was like this….. complete engagement, cries of joy and not of despondency or disinterest.

There are many old chestnuts when it comes to quotes and adages about organisational change.  Sayings like “we are all change weary”, “here we go again” and “we have seen this before” permeate our workforces.  Why are some staff so cynical when it comes to organisational change?

Below is a short list of factors I have seen influence people’s thinking and disengagement around change:

  • lack of involvement in the company’s strategy and its direction
  • the revolving door of management that for some reason seems to continue revolving. What is really going on?
  • the increasing pace of change and energy required to keep up with it, particularly when your workforce is aging and you  are expected to do more with less
  • experiencing the same old problems that never same to get resolved
  • a personal inability to drop and or delegate tasks leading to feeling overwhelmed
  • the type of industry your business operates in. From government to private sector consulting and any organization in between, a company’s psyche and its leadership really does have an impact on how people respond to new challenges
  • a lack of preparedness to consult with staff and suitably enroll them into change planning; an inability to make a difference
  • And then comes implementation – many organisations do not adapt their implementation plans to consider new information, build from great staff feedback in order to realize the best outcomes for all
  • And finally – a poor appreciation of the WHY. Why are we constantly changing and how can I contribute to this and what’s in it for me (WIFM)?  All too often companies press ahead with internal change with a straight forward dynamic –the underwhelming themes of cost savings, improved efficiency, sometimes adjusting service levels.  Do these themes really light the fire of staff within organisations? I suggest not.

So what’s my point? Organisational change is best done with customers and staff in mind, first and foremost. If they can’t substantially contribute to and enjoy the journey, there is going to be little left in the tank when a real challenge comes along!   Stakeholder satisfaction will all follow suite if your customer and staff value propositions are clear, compelling and engaging.  Make sure your organisation’s strategy incorporates these elements today and change as the destination will become far easier to achieve in your workplace to the extent where it is no longer novel, it’s a cultural norm. You will have been successful when everybody is completely engaged in the journey and it will show in your service standards and results!