For a few months I observed a certain notion; a change that is forming and starting to emerge. And last week, a friend of mine shared a story that greatly describes my notion. Here is the story.
My friend is regularly working in two different sites which are not far from each other and yet are very distinct. One day he met a colleague at the northern site, which has recently moved jobs from the southern site to here. My friend asked her, how is she experiencing her new job? She replied that she has only been here for 2-3 weeks and has observed one big difference: the people are much more open, the people are collaborating with a closer knit, and as a result, decisions are made much faster. When asked, what she thinks makes the difference, the answer was astonishingly simple. She expressed that she also observed that the lunch routine is different. At the southern site, most people organise their individual lunch from home or delivery, because there is no cantine that everyone can use. At the northern site, the company is providing a nice canteen and everyone is having their lunch there together. The managing director of the site is a regular visitor. As a result, the MD and everyone else is easier to approach and the people simply feel closer to each other.
I love this story! A great example of how culture is defined and influenced. Hofstede has defined four elements: values, stories, routines and artefacts. And here we clearly have the latter two present: routines as in going to have lunch with your colleagues on a regular basis; and artefacts in form of the canteen itself, a place to gather as a community.
I can feel that we are starting a period where people are longing for a community feel.
Why is that? In my observation, over the last 2-3 decades many companies and manager have created the routine to talk about individual performance, paying out individual bonuses, developing talents in their individual careers, defining individual role descriptions, etc. All this has fostered a strong individual thinking. We went away from achieving results in teams, focusing on the success of the company, and caring for all people in our different communities.
The recent pandemic then created a stronger awareness of this situation - hey, it is actually not so fun to do everything by ourselves; it makes us insecure. Let's come together again! In a community, we feel more protected, we have more fun, we can leverage more skills and experiences - we can be strong.
How can we bring this community feel back into our organisations? Here some ideas:
How do you think we can bring the community feel back?
Positivity Goes the Long Way
Friends often come to me and say, 'Hey Tim, you are so positive all the time - how are you doing that?'. One could say, oh, that is simply my character. It might be, though for me it is a deep conviction that positivity is the better approach to life. What led me to this conviction? There are a few elements which I would like to elaborate on here.
First is simply neuroscience: when people are exposed to negative emotional situations then the reptilian brain reacts with freeze, fight or flight. When we are in a positive emotional state, we can thrive; we are good at heuristic tasks, more curious and as a result more productive.
Based on this and what I have seen in multiple workshops and real life situations, when we enjoy the situation and are in a good mood, creativity rises, brainstorming sessions work better, we easily solve problems and are overall the engagement and motivation is getting high.
Further, I discovered that nothing is simply good or bad. People, processes, systems, situations always have positive and(!) and negative sides. Even a specific action typically leads to advantages and disadvantages. Life in general is nuanced. Are there really errors, mistakes, burning platforms, issues, problems? Or shall we rather say that something has led to an outcome we didn't expect and anticipated. As a result, we always have the possibility of finding something positive about any situation. And yes, that doesn't mean we naively ignore the negative impacts.
We have all been in situations where we ourselves get annoyed with something or our counterparts are fuming. With these emotions we are getting defensive, losing the ability to think critically. Positivity allows us to reduce limiting emotions. Prepare a foundation where we can work together towards a better outcome.
Then there is trust; an essential element for good collaboration. In order to allow people to open up to each other, a positive environment helps a lot.
And, in my experience in change management, positivity makes transformation much much easier. Allows the adaptors to become more receptive and reduces the negative impact any change is creating.
How can you become a positive person? First, human- and data-centric approaches like design thinking and lean management allow us to be more considerate, curious and nuanced. Mindfulness helped me a lot to become more balanced and view things in a more down-to-earth way. I love the principles of appreciative inquiry. And I can only encourage practicing more positive leadership.
What are your experiences with positivity?
It never seems to stop - people around me are rushing deadlines, month-end closures and are stuck in one "burning platform" after another. I feel many people are stuck in immediate return, the quick buck and focus on financial returns (of the month, the day, the minute?). How does this lead to long-term success? Apparently not.
In my observation, this short-term focus is getting more ingrained in many company and economic structures. When is the last time that you saw a financial report that shows the trend of the last 3 years? Even country GDPs are simply compared to the previous quarter and the same quarter the previous year. And in today's volatile world, that doesn't say much. Further, is GDP (or EBITDA) even the best leading indicator for success?
A key question here: how can we become more sensitive about the long-term impact of our actions? Can we justify short-term results that jeopardize long-term objectives?
Our world is a complex and interwoven ecosystem; a simplification in financial figures will only lead into wrong directions and actions. What we want is lasting success: for our company, for our employees, for our customers, for our planet and for the society around us. Best explained is this with the Exponential Age, where innovative companies are spending a significant amount on R&D - tinkering to find the best solution knowing that this approach will not lead to short-term return but rather building the ramp to an exponential success in the future! This is based on the capability to change oneself and drive change in a rapid, sustainable way!
How to do that? First important step, work on an inspirational Leitbild - an imagination of a future state that guides your business! This is focusing on making your customers successful - and any partner in your business ecosystem is in the end sort of a customer, right? And this success is build on your people, on business success, on technology, and considers the planet and society we are embedded in.
Based on this, we can seek short-term results that are aligned with our long-term Leitbild. Any shortcut will jeopardize your long-term success.
To answer the initial question: try to imagine what your company will look like in 20 or 30 years. Take a step back and focus on doing the right things. Then you will find ways to catapult your business forward; instead of taking that shortcut.
"If we stopped investing we would be out of business in 10-15 years", Werner Vogel, CTO Amazon
Change Management is undoubtedly one of the key skills for leaders on all levels in the organisation. Change is THE constant in our business life and without looking at the people side of doing business, we will fail to achieve the results we are expecting. How are you structuring your change engagements? Where do you start your journey to become a change master?
CPC Consulting and Hive17 Consulting are offering the Certified Associate in Change Management program here in Singapore and in the region. And now, we also provide you with an easy entry to the topic: two modules as self-paced online learning modules.
These modules give you a quick start based on a holistic and practical change management methodology. And this will be the foundation for the next level where you will apply the concepts hands-on. Find out more with the link below!
We all make mistakes - they simply happen. One apparent place are our text messages - we make numerous typos, right? Although, these errors happen everywhere - big and small. And most of the time, our intention was doing the right thing. It is important to keep in mind that these errors are part of being human. Don't blame others.
In this context, I often like to mention that errors depend on the perspective. Switching to a mindset to take mistakes as a learning opportunity is highly useful. Today, I want to talk about how we can minimise these errors that happen despite our good intentions. I want to share a tactic, a routine that will help you to reduce these mistakes from happening.
David Marquet in his book Turn the Ship Around mentions this in several chapters: Deliberate Actions. This tactic is helping to break the flow between intention and action. So, we have the intention to send good morning wishes to our friend. We take our phone and type the message and often the word 'mooring' appears - a small error. Hit send, and your friend is puzzled. Deliberate Action suggests to install a small pause: before hitting send, read your message again. A successful tactic and routine I have created for myself to avoid misunderstandings and embarrassments. And this only takes a few seconds!
This can also be implemented with our peers, friends and colleagues at work. Before you hit action, pause and re-state your intention. Here a verbal example: "Hey, let's send out this invite for Friday, 12 July" - "Oh, do you mean Tuesday, 12 July or Friday, 15 July?" - "Thanks! Yes, I mean Friday 15 July". These small actions help to make work more efficient, effective and improve collaboration in the team. On top of that, the practice of deliberate actions will help to cultivate transparency - a fantastic way to change your team's collaborative success!
How do you intend to implement deliberate actions?
Source: Turn the Ship Around, David Marquet
Since a decade or so, it has been a good measure to involve people, ask for their opinion, and get them engaged in most company decisions and initiatives. This is intended to cultivate intrinsic motivation and a more enjoyable workplace. Now, we look back and think: what went wrong?
The employees don't see how their contributions have been considered in the decision making process, coordination efforts are getting bigger and complex, and managers are fighting with inertia and resistance. On top of that, everything seems to be a crisis today and we are involved in daily firefighting. As a result, we fall back to micromanagement, forget about being transparent, and all previous good intentions are thrown out of the window.
It appears that we are schlepping a huge rock behind us. Who feels like this today?
Is there a different, alternative way? Instead of being a truck driver with an ever increasing load, imagine you are a conductor of an orchestra. The load is distributed to the musicians in your ecosystem; you are providing a platform for the group of people to collaborate together on the output and the manage the change in their environment independently. This will create motivation in your team and it will make your job easier. How does that look like?
What are the key ingredients to transform into a director's kind of leader? In my experience, it takes a few, simple steps:
I know it is so easy to fall back to the old way of doing things in times of stress. It is important to practice this leadership style and establish routines. Lasting change will come very soon.
How does it feel to make this switch to an orchestra conductor?
Delegating Power? Here is Why
People often see me as an evangelist for letting go of control. What I mean by this is a leadership style that is focusing on creating a platform and an environment for the organisation to be successful. Basically that is less of 'command & control' and more of 'facilitate & guide. In practical terms, this is delegating the relevant decision making power to the front.
Ok, nice. "I agree with the principles but it is so hard." - that is what I often hear from leaders. And yes, this requires a mindset shift from everyone in the organisation and that a bit of an effort to establish new routines. So, why should I invest in change? Through my change management practice, I have collected evidence from four different sources that illustrate why delegating power and providing self-control leads towards success.
Drive, Dan Pink - As a change manager I believe in motivating people intrinsically and Dan Pink describes this with simple principles in his book 'Drive'. Purpose, Autonomy and Mastery are the key ingredients to intrinsic motivation. The element autonomy is then about giving the people and the team to freedom to decide on their priorities and to design their way of working by themselves. In the end, autonomy removes a lot of frustration and is key to engagement.
Turn the Ship Around, David Marquet - If delegating power works as a leadership principle in a submarine of the US Army, then this can work anywhere! David Marquet has transformed Santa Fe into a leadership development campus where leaders are leading leaders. In his book he describes why bringing control to the front is so important and explores the two support pillars: capability and clarity.
Scrum.org - agile software development has taken over the business world and it is all about delivering results fast. The key principles here are understanding the customers, experimenting fast in short iterations and establishing a self-organising team. The scrum teams take ownership of their priorities, their roles, their way of working.
Lean Management - when managing change in operations, teams often rely on lean management. We have all heard of the 7 wastes of lean and how the goal is to create flow. All of this though, is only possible if this can happen directly within the operations, removing hierarchical bottlenecks and allowing the frontline teams to make decisions; this is called shared leadership in lean.
In simple terms, I believe if you want to reach your targets faster, and you want that your outcome is creating more value, then letting go of control is a great recipe; the changes in your organisation will happen smoother and with more success.
What are your routines and behaviours that are supporting this new leadership style?
Drive, Dan Pink
Turn the Ship Around, David Marquet
So What is Agile Really About?
What Is Shared Leadership For Lean?
At the end of last year, I have decided to follow my interest and take a deeper look at Climate Tech. I started this out of three simple beliefs: climate change is an essential global topic; creating business opportunities will accelerate the solutions; change management practitioners can enable to achieve impact.
Today, I am proud that the announcement went out that we have launched a SwissCham Climate Tech Subcommittee! Together with Regula Schegg, Marco Preisig and Jérémy Lovey, we have launched this community with the goals to
We are looking forward to organising a series of workshops and networking events. In small working groups we will collaborate on concrete projects. In larger groups we will network and share case studies.
What makes you excited about Climate Tech?
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?
Change Management is the Umbrella for all your Innovation, Excellence and Leadership Campaigns
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
What are the right leadership qualities? I would argue that most leaders and managers either consciously or intuitively know what leads to better results in their teams. Are we following these concepts and applying the relevant skills often enough? Most probably not. These qualities are not yet our second nature.
How do I fare in cultivating an environment that allows my team to drive change and to create lasting success? How do my peers feel about the same? Where do we align on improvement potential? At Hive17 Consulting we have started back in 2014 on a framework that measures a set of qualities that are essential in driving and facilitating change, innovation, excellence and engagement - how to become antifragile? The assessment is covering a broad set of aspects including behaviour, mindset and skills.
"Most assessments I have looked at in the past focus on me as an individual.
We at Hive17 Consulting strongly believe that success comes from collaboration, diversity, alignment, transparency, relationships,... - all elements that happen in the space between people. This is also the reason why the best value of our antifragility score is achieved with an entire team. We will run group assessments where we bring the individual scores anonymously together. This will lead to great conversations on what we can learn from the different leadership pillars; where do we excel as a team? On which qualities are we aligned? How can we further improve to create a platform for success?
Where to start? First, get your individual score with the link below; and experience the four pillars in action. Based on this, we can continue to build a group score; this will help the team to discuss areas how all together can bring the team forward and cultivate the right space for success. Starting with some concrete action points. Give it a try...
"Change Management is Pain Management"
This is how Dr Michael Loh has captivated the participants during the inaugural workshop of the ACMP Singapore Chapter (forming). Dr Loh shared with the audience that in essence, change management is all about the people. It is easy to install change and forget about the human aspects. With Mushroom Management the managers come in and create chaos and results are random. With Seagull Management, the birds are coming out from nowhere and then leave their discharge all over the place. That is how transformation projects fail.
How to do change right? Take our taxi drivers as an example: they listen, they repeat, they embellish and they gossip. Storytelling is essential for success; start with listening to the chatter from all levels and learn from that.
Dr Jens Sorg, president of the ACMP Germany Chapter, shared what the Association for Change Management Professionals (ACMP) is all about. "Lead the way change works" - with this mission at its core, the ACMP is all about being a knowledge hub, a platform for experts to exchange and bring the practice forward. Annie Chong, our Singapore president, is excited to bring this organisation and its network to our region.
Get the latest news and receive updates about the upcoming events on our LinkedIn group; join now:
ACMP Singapore Chapter (Forming) Group.
One of my past time activities is tending to a garden and growing plants. This requires preparing the soil, nurturing to the seedlings, watering regularly (not too much, not too little), checking on pest and allowing the right amount of sunshine. In short, creating an environment where the plants can flourish!
This is how we look at change management at Hive17 Consulting. We aspire to create an environment where the people understand and are excited about the change to come. We are looking at the long journey ahead, keeping an eye on the imagination of the future state and then enjoy the steps that lead in that direction.
I like this link to gardening and landscaping because of the number of similarities. Forcing change will not lead to lasting success. A series of environment ingredients need to fit together - it is an ecosystem. While grow and change takes time, it happens constantly and we might be surprised about the speed. When we have a fertile environment, the results are solid and beautiful.
How are you cultivating a great environment in your organisation?
Magic Pill #2 - Bridging Silos
One observation I made over the past years is that there seems to be a growing gravitation towards focus on individual work. This not only establishes silo mentality and makes collaborating across departments, geographies and hierarchical levels more difficult. This also stimulates individualism within teams; a blame culture is nurtured and the spirit of working together fades away. Elements that are nudging in this direction are the way we set objectives and rewards, the mandate of individual job description, the setup of functional organisational structures, etc. They often reward individual contribution over team achievements.
At the same time, there are tons of information and concepts that praise and promote the fact that we can reach ultimate success only by collaborating with others: Google research, High Performing Teams, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc. While we can be efficient as an individual, the great achievements and the effectiveness of an organisation only stems from the collaborative advantage we develop in groups of people.
Why do we have this controversy between individual and collaborative efforts? Maybe it is the lack of ability and tools that nurture, cultivate and nudge towards the right behaviour and mindset. Here are some ideas from my experience.
Does this sound like a lot of work? I admit, this is not a shortcut. Still, these efforts are a worthwhile investment that leads to lasting success and extraordinary results. Benefits are that we unleash creativity, we engage and motivate the people, we establish a psychological safe work environment, we retain people and we enable the company to grow beyond the current box.
What have you recently done to stimulate cross-silo collaboration in your team?
Source: re:work - The five keys to a successful Google team
Read more about Magic Pill #1 - Reflect
After a very long time, in-person workshops are back! Last week I had the opportunity to hold a guest lecture at SMU as part of the my alma mater's HSG Asia Term program here in Singapore. It was a highly interactive session with forty students from both universities. Great to feel the energy and engagement.
The students are engaged in consulting projects with local businesses and the session was focussed around how we can work together in teams and with the different stakeholders. We started off with a fun exercise that revealed that often we want our opponents to loose - instead of winning ourselves - that was really amazing.
How can we then collaborate successfully? It takes the willingness and ability to create synergy between the different players in the group. And this requires a balance between considering the wins of the other person, and the courage to express your own win. Based on these principles, the teams then started to define their own principles which captures how the team wants to work together.
The feedback we got was wonderful; here some quotes:
How do you establish relationships at work that spark high-performing teams?
Thanks to Stefan Morkoetter and his team to make this possible! More information about the HSG Asia Term in Singapore.
Together with TTIP we have launched the Innovation Forum in APAC. The first session was all about the Role of Leadership in Innovation. After an insightful presentation from Maurits van Tol, the almost 20 participants discussed in groups their experiences and insights; here are the key insights:
Listen to Maurits' presentation here!
Join us for our next interactive and insightful session on 23 February 2022 - Developing Better Technical and Business Judgment. Discuss and learn from innovation leaders in the region and bring successful change to your organisation.
[Case Study] Change Ambassadors Follow Dual Objectives to Reach Lasting Success
A few years back, we have been engaged in a regional project to drive manufacturing excellence in 15 factories with a special focus on energy and how to create a better place for future generation. While this was a technical project with clear value targets, we also understood that this initiative will only be successful when we engage with the people, make them excited about the vision, and create opportunities to learn and progress.
Communicating was not enough - we knew that. Because we wanted to enable and facilitate the change from within, we established a group of change ambassadors who were working closely with the frontline people. We identified a cohort of 25 engineers who were driving the initiative in their respective sites. They became project ambassadors for one year in a full-time ambassador position.
How could we motivate them to join this role? How could we overcome their concerns that this assignment was hindering their career development?
We designed this ambassador program with two clear and distinct objectives in mind. First, we know that the group of ambassadors were vital to achieve the business objectives of the initiative. They were responsible in the identification of energy saving potential in their sites; and then responsible to execute this potential. With these goals we were able to save costs, reduce the environmental impact and increase the reputation of the business.
The second objective of the program was about developing future leaders. The engineers were identified talents and following a development path to potentially become plant managers. One important set of skill they had to learn for their future were leadership and people capabilities. As change facilitators they had tons of opportunities to learn, apply and experiment with different tools, skills and behaviours to engage with the frontline people and the management. As part of the program, we continuously evaluated them based on a change leadership skill framework.
In essence, while working together with human resources, the ambassador program was part of the talent management activities. And it was a huge success! All engineers improved their leadership skill scores while part of the program. And, all engineers joined back their career paths in higher positions than before. A fantastic achievement!
This is how we design our leadership programs at Hive17 Consulting. We always keep this dual objectives in mind: improving the business results and(!) improving the leadership qualities. We believe that in this way we can establish lasting success and drive the change from within.
The New Year has started; and we are all excited about the things we want to achieve in 2022. There are so many changes we want to realise; so many innovations we want to trigger. How can we be successful with that?
As leaders we have a strong impact with our actions and with our behaviour to nurture innovation; and to strangle creativity. What is the leader's role in innovation? Join Maurits van Tol, CTO of Johnson Matthey as guest speaker in our 'Innovate for Success' Networking Forum.
TTIP and Hive17 Consulting are jointly launching the 'Innovate for Success' Networking Forum in Asia. This program is tapping into the combined knowledge and experience of our global community of business & innovation leaders. In monthly, highly participative sessions we bring together business leaders around the current innovation topics.
The New Year has started - we refueled our energy and are excited what 2022 will bring for us? Let's get into it! Here in Singapore, one immediate topic: how to get the people back to the office! Government regulations allow to raise office space occupancy to 50%; let's fill up our physical workplace again!
Are these the right questions and intentions?
Owl Labs shares in their annual report 'State of Remote Work' that "1 in 3 would quit their job if they could no longer work remotely after the pandemic". This against the "39% of employers [that] are requiring employees to be in the office full-time post-pandemic". Friction is programmed.
This will be a change which requires a good conversation. Yes, as leaders we know that solid change management is based on listening to our employees, giving them flexibility, providing them a inspiring vision, etc. We intellectually know how to do this right. Why then, do we feel the urgency which is overruling the correct way of facilitating the change? Where do you think this falling back to old routines is coming from?
Adopting the right leadership behaviour is difficult, it takes time until it becomes second nature. Urgencies trigger a relapse to these behaviours which we know are creating dissatisfaction, irritation and frustration. We need a practice field for the leadership qualities we want to strengthen until they become our second nature. My suggestion, use the conversation around hybrid workplace for this! Take out the urgency, we have been working for almost two years in a sub-optimal environment. Let's go slowly back; any mix in hybrid working is better than what we had before (during and before the pandemic).
At Hive17 Consulting we offer a simple framework for leadership qualities that support success in your transformation. And we help to adopt them until they are second nature. This will help you to reach your results faster and to create more value for the people in the ecosystem. Let's get started!
Source: State of remote work 2021, Owl Labs
Magic Pill #1 - Reflect
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.