Earth Week - As a change manager I am interested in many different forms of change. One particular one is nature, our planet earth. It is inspiring to observe what happens and discover similarities to the changes we intend to create in our work and life.
Our planet has evolved over millions of years and created spectacular lifeforms. Humans evolved over thousands of years to reach its current sophistication. And we did experience a tremendous change over the last 100 years of how mankind has impacted the natural cycles. These are the big changes we can observe, discover and be inspired by.
And on the other side, we can experience how nature changes around us every single day. The video below shows this cycle with the colours we can experience from dawn to dust. This is a great reminder how we are embedded in constant change; embedded in nature and embedded in the people network we are living and working.
And these daily, small changes then also lead eventually to the larger changes we desire to achieve. Keep the big vision and start with small steps that lead us in the right direction.
Wish you an enjoyable day on planet Earth.
Introducing new products is vital for any company to stay ahead of the curve and strengthen the future business. This was also the case for this regional organisation in the chemicals industry; and they struggled with delays in the development of these new products. The accountability was with the marketing, commercial and R&D directors and they identified that the collaboration within these cross-functional teams was an area of concern.
Together with the project leads, we assessed the current situation and what blocked the team members to work smoothly together. We decided to introduce two changes in the way the people are working. First, we introduced a consolidated action log stored in a collaborative file accessible in a central location; all team members could access and edit it and we avoided copies and sending files via e-mail. Second, we increased the frequency of the team status meetings from three weeks to one week and introduced a simple structure: achievements, issues, action log.
Despite these simple changes, the regional leadership team recognised visible improvements within only 2 months. Besides spending less time in meetings and reducing the stream of e-mails, here are the major enhancements:
This project showed that change management helped to ensure all adopters are involved in understanding the pain points, defining the goals and starting to experiment with different ideas to reach the key objectives. This led to excitement and motivation - smiles instead of frowns.
How do you see that collaborative success is crucial in your business?
We heard this many times: Change is Everywhere! We are continuously advancing, improving, tinkering and even disrupting our own products, operations and organisational models. Recent conversations, studies and experiences confirmed this again: to be successful with these initiatives, we need to bring people together and enable an effective collaboration. "We build people; and these people build our business." And, this people side of the business is the concern of Change Management.
Now, many companies have engaged in a series of different frameworks and concepts in order to bring their initiatives forward. And in recent years I have become proficient and excited about them. Here some examples.
All these concepts look at the mindset and the behaviour of people and are designed to enable the success of your projects and initiatives. They are very much concerned about the people side of doing business.
This is where I recently made the link that change management actually acts as an umbrella to all these initiatives. They can be brought together by creating a common platform and defining how they support each other (instead of stealing resources from each other). Change management can then facilitate a set of leadership qualities, creating a glue between the individuals and silos, and as a result enables longterm success through collaboration.
At Hive17 Consulting we drive people excellence through positive leadership. We assess individuals and teams with our Antifragility Score and our leadership development programs then allow these teams to strengthen their people skills and drive success for their projects.
Yes, I am a positive person. I smile a lot and people around me tend to like the energy I am spreading. I hear that a lot and I am very glad about this. And for sure, this is a personality trait of mine. Though, I am also convinced that positivity is the right approach to facilitate change. Neuroscientific studies share that when we bring people into a positive emotional state, they will be more creative, malleable, become better at solving problems and are simply more energetic.
During our leadership development programs at Hive17 Consulting, we are putting a strong focus on positivity as well - part of our change management practice. As positive leaders we can create a safe work environment that drives creativity, motivation and hence productivity. This will result in better solutions for the customers, improved operational excellence and stronger retention of your talents.
How can you practice the right leadership qualities so that positivity becomes your second nature? Here are some hands-on tips to build new routines. As a start, know your direction and write down a meaningful vision that you want to achieve. Then it is important to meet and interact with a variety of people. Practice the appreciation of different opinions and ideas; stop judging them and be open for new discoveries. Lastly, stay fit with sports, good food and mindfulness.
How antifragile are you? Assess all your leadership qualities based Hive17's Leadership Wheel. Check out the link below.
Painting credit: Annika Wieringa, March 2022
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Tim is a change practitioner in the area of innovation and excellence. He is working with teams to accelerate innovation, collaboration and agility.