Change is not an option

Into your future?
As a leader, if you’re not creating change you are inviting certain extinction of both your role and your company.

As a Change Manager I realised ‘Change’ was a redundant qualifier.

If you are managing or leading, even a conservative role, you must constantly be looking for what needs to change.

Be nimble: change-ready and active.

Sadly however the number of leaders and managers I seeing being nimble are too few, even fewer if you required them to be pro-actively nimble.

You need to be changing yourself, changing the organisation and encouraging, supporting and cheering on everyone else to do the same.

If someone in your organisation is not changing you need to rethink your strategy, make some decisions and kick things into action.

Stuck in the mud is dead in the water.

Ideas to promote change:

Celebrate failure. You want change to be guaranteed? Sorry you won’t be nimble enough often enough.

Crash the car. Put a team on dismantling a service or product and seeing how they might build it from scratch.

Break up successful teams. Use your best when you need to, but if they really are good then ‘share the love’. Inject their skills and enthusiasm into the gaps. Elite is unproductive.

Mea culpa. Admit your mistakes, show your willingness to try, to invent, to explore, but don’t hide from the things that don’t work. Do it without shame.

Take an axe to the suggestion box. If you can’t talk to your managers and they can’t talk to their teams, then you’re nowhere near where ideas will thrive and change will be a way of life. Like an extra steering wheel in your car – the suggestion box looks like it could be handy but it only invites chaos.

Rethink quality systems. If they don’t foster change they’re unsustainable, change them, NOW!

And of course…Celebrate success.

Open Door Policy

How many times have you heard a manager say they have an open door policy?

Though not as much of the management lexicon as it used to be it is still commonly heard.

I expect the reduction in use is partly due to the open plan environment, and partly due to the sanctimony it received by many who claimed it.

I was one of those ‘called out’ by my staff some years ago – they acknowledged my door was open physically but felt that was as far as it went.

It was such a great lesson.

“Have I ever seen an open door policy?”


Obviously everybody should know what is required? Right?

I expect the reality is otherwise.

Wikipedia and other links delivered pretty much what I expected – boring, stiff, follow the rules, and confined to managing ‘the event’.

How dull.

Here’s my take -Part 1:

  • Firstly you don’t need a door. Metaphorically anyone can close a door to communication whether they have a door or not. So let’s change the term to Open Policy.
  • Secondly it shouldn’t be a policy, it should be a way of life. So now we have Open.

Now we can get to work.

Here’s my take on Open:

  • You work here, let’s talk.
  • If I am busy presently I’ll tell you but not push you away without scheduling a time or following through ASAP.
  • I’m your boss’s boss. No problem, let’s talk, I won’t undermine them, but I need to understand why you are wanting to talk to me.
  • I’ll find some way to show I can’t be disturbed right now.
  • You want to waste my time, I won’t let you.
  • I promise I won’t waste your time.
  • I promise I won’t make any promises I won’t keep.
  • I’ll use my professional discretion in terms of what stays here and what moves on.
  • I’ll thank you, you’ll hopefully thank me.
  • I’m authentic, try me.

Any questions?

Reality check – Part 1

When I was first coached one of the key aspects my coach kept me revisiting was a reality check.

What you resist resists
ILLUSION - What you resist resists.
For me this was a reality check of the kind “You’re picturing this worse than it really is, you’re undervaluing yourself…”

Radio “I’m not good enough” was the term used to remind me.

At the time I was clearly going through some difficult changes as the reality was very different to the confidence or rather lack of confidence with which I was carrying myself forward.

It was a deeply personal struggle which few of my friends and colleagues were aware of.

It’s great to be out of there.

There are many people out there enduring the sort of pain such doubt brings about, and previous or even current success is no source of immunity.

So where and how do you get out, what can you do?

There is no panacea, though here are proven ways to progress, explore these and others to get a fit with you:

  • Share with your closest friends/colleagues – you may be suprised to hear they have been there to
  • Seek out inspirational people and realise the only difference is they are ‘doing’ and you are ‘holding back’
  • Keep great company (ditch those who drain your spirit)
  • Break the pattern; take up a new sport, go running, get out, meet old friends
  • Explain – don’t complain, don’t be a broken record, be a record of positive change
  • Set new goals and commitments – share these with your partner or colleagues
  • Get a great coach (I know some!)
  • Seek out a psychotherapist/psychologist – ignore the old social stigma’s about seeing a ‘shrink’ – some of my best friends are psych’s!!
  • Stay above the line

Remember What you resist resists

Fighting it is no solution, finding and forging a way forward is.

(Reality check Part 2 , will deal with the opposite problem – when you are overly confident of your strengths.)