a change that brings more change!
Working in the arena of change is both challenging and rewarding. It is often said that during change, workplaces can feel as if it’s 3 steps forward, then 4 back. And in those ‘4 steps back’ times, sometimes referred to as the ‘knock-on effect’ from change, what are three suggested actions to take?
Changes in the workplace will result in a knock-on effect, thereby facilitating further impact from the change.
Take the example of BYOD, a dilemma that some organizations are facing currently. For those who live in a non-geek world, BYOD stands for ‘bring your own device’, which results in individuals using their own devices in workplaces. What a great idea; less company capital investment, more responsible ownership of technology by individuals, higher degree of happiness (just look at the faces of Apple users when this corporate decision is taken) and the list continues.
Yet with that one change of BYOD comes more change; the 4 steps back! Some of the knock-on effects will be anticipated and prepared for whilst others occupy the realm of the unknown or unexpected! For example, if the workplace culture is one of separating personal from corporate, how does one truly know when work is underway? How will the workplace represent only that which it agrees to or could a person’s social media choices place the organization at risk? Is that healthy? absolutely yes, because change should not be an activity or event but ongoing process for the business and the people! Change will always cascade, providing opportunity for ongoing further change.
How can one ensure that a resulting knock-on effect from a change is welcomed? In other words how can we build change as a competency in our organizations and people?
Talk and ‘be’ change at every possible opportunity. Challenge the people to find opportunities to change before having to react to change. Ask the team to anticipate ’cause and effect’ of change.
Build ‘change’ into your communication forums and techniques. For example, add the topic of change to the weekly or monthly agenda, and share the responsibility for all to apply that section to something they would like to see changed, and be willing to spearhead. Encourage them to present a business case for the change and to identify roles for which they’d like assistance. Add a new ‘award’ to those currently existing, possibly recognizing the individual who embraced or anticipated change in the best possible way that month.
At a special occasion eg the 20th anniversary of the company, challenge people to pictorially represent the company’s milestones of success and link them to changes that were taken.
When building change into an organization as a leadership competency and priority, not only does it allow us to cope with knock-on effects of change, but even design them in the name of continuous improvement.