When I recently talk to people, two things are striking: first, there is a year-end madness with huge workload; second, a big uncertainty looking forward. As a result, motivation is at an all-time low, talents are fleeing their safe jobs, and people dive even more into daily work because there seem to be no other solution.
On my side, I am a big advocate for long-term success. When we want to achieve better business results, we need the right environment, the right tools, the right mindset, and the right direction. What does 'right' mean here? To be honest, I am not the person to tell you. Every person is different, every team constellation creates a special culture. It is important for each group of people to find the answer to what is right, themselves. Let me guide you with some of my change management experience.
When I look back at the last 10-15 years at all the teams I was brining towards success, how we establish unexpected results, I can distill two essential ingredients that these teams have applied. And I want to go a bit deeper in this magic pill #1 - because of the frenzy I have described above, and because the holiday season is coming up.
When we are chasing results, when we are overwhelmed, when we are anxious, when we are under pressure, when we are simply going through our daily work routines... in these situations we are not creative, we often don't see the big picture. And, we don't answer the question, are we doing the right thing! One activity which I have been pursuing a lot in my practice, is providing a space to reflect, to look beyond the box, and to feel positive.
How to go about this? First, it is important to wind down, get the people into a different space - physical and mental. Then there are a few questions to consider:
This time off and these questions help teams to identify the friction and bottlenecks to their productivity. And sometimes they find totally new ways to deliver to their customers. More often than not, reflections are a great source of excitement, fun and motivation. And the holiday season is a good time to start with this reflection.
What do you think is the magic pill #2?
[Update] Here we go: Magic Pill #2 - Bridging Silos
The Hive17 Thoughts is a place of sharing insights and experiences we have from our practice. And sometimes people ask me, what is Hive17 Consulting actually doing? Here we go:
Essentially, we are a change management boutique. We facilitate change and enable companies to address their biggest challenges and opportunities.
We believe that a) successful change comes from the people and b) lasting success happens when changes is driven from within. New installations, systems and solutions will not automatically create benefits - only when people adopt them, they will then realise the benefit. Resistance automatically happens when change is opposed on people; this is a natural reaction. One way to avoid this is to give people the space to define and drive their own change.
Based on these believes, we are joining the teams that want to drive the change in programs that run in 3-months cycles. At the start we define what we want to achieve in this increment; and we are looking at two sets of goals: accelerating business results and developing leadership qualities. During the three months we then facilitate a custom cadence of activities, including self-learning, mentoring, coaching, observations, etc.; all directed at the defined key results.
These goals and activities are supported by the four pillars of our leadership wheel. At the start and at the end of each cycle we assess where the team stands in regard of each pillar. This defines the focus areas and shows the trend.
So, this was a short introduction of how we are bringing value to our clients. Effective change management to drive innovation and excellence.
What do you like most about this program?
Many people say that the pandemic brought a lot of change. Though, when looking at 2010s, we talked a lot about digitalisation, working from home, e-commerce, VUCA, new digital currencies, psychological safety, and many more topics. Some people argue that we are not introducing new topics, though the transformations are happening a lot faster due to a new urgency and necessity.
Here is where agility comes into play. Is it sufficient to simply run faster? This typically doesn't last long because things break and the quality suffers. We want to speed up in a smart way to create lasting success in times of transformations. And one important element here is creating value to our customers.
At Hive17 Consulting we have been evolving our four pillars for lasting success since the year 2014. We identified, validated, enhanced, applied four topics that we found helps teams to speed up by creating value:
In collaboration with Tigerhall, we have created this trail of podcasts that introduce these four pillars based on case studies and the underlying principles. This first episode is giving an overview to start of. Listen to this short introduction and enjoy how the four elements fit together.
Which of the four pillars do you experience as the biggest barrier in your organisation?
Yes, I am an avid reader of Wired UK; I like to read their magazines because often they introduce novel topics which help to broaden my view of the world. In one of the last editions, an article was talking about the exponential gap - and I was hooked.
We all heard about exponential growth; and most of us have difficulties to grasp the reality of it. Take the story of Lord Krishna who took a chessboard and asked to fill each square with the double amount of rice. Once you reach the 64th square, there is so much rice on the chessboard that it would fill India with a 75 cm layer of rice. Exponential growth is inconceivable. This is what Hans Rosling also mentions in his book Factfulness; he calls this the third mega misconception - the Straight Line Instinct.
Let's look at the graph below showing a general picture comparing linear and exponential growth. The linear line is steady; with each unit of investment you get a specific return. The exponential line instead stays below the linear line for a very long time; it almost appears not to move up. Then suddenly, the line shoots up and is going past the linear line. What does that mean for us?
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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.