I think I can safely say that everyone in the workforce today, right at this moment is experiencing change. No matter what industry; whether you are a Millennial or a Baby Boomer; no matter if you are an individual contributor or leader; no matter if you are in sales, finance or a construction worker.
If everyone is exposed to change and if the predictions are correct that change is a constant, this is the new normal, if you don’t change you die, why then does the mere word of change scare the crap out of people?
Is it the actual change that scares people or is it the way that businesses communicate change the underlying scary factor?
We are all individuals, all working for individual organisations with different cultures, different structures and different leaders… but I wonder how many of you answered that it is the way that change is communicated is the underlying problem – I would imagine the vast majority of you but I can only speak for myself and my experience.
I have worked in large complex organisations as well as privately owned companies – all have had a change agenda at some level and in my personal view it is communication, not change that has frustrated me.
In organisations where I have been lucky enough to be on the leadership team, change is not scary as I understand the reasons, the impacts and the goals…in other organisations yes they have tried to communicate through Town Hall calls, meetings and memos but we live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. In this changing world is it time we moved away from the classic communication channels? Communicating a strategy, (which is another conversation for a later date as I believe that in a state of constant change a strategy is out of date before it is implemented!) shouldn’t we then explore a continuous connection avenue where everyone is connected to an organisation…where each individual is aligned to the overall goals and direction…where everyone in the organisation knows the impact of change to them and what they need to achieve to help an organisation get to where they are going…
Creating and supporting a collaborative, aligned and cohesive environment by constantly connecting everyone in the organisation to the things that really matter: the where to from here. If this is communicated continuously the performance required and productivity needed become day-to-day conversations and guess what? Change just happens!
If change is constant and the new normal then surely a continuous communication channel is the way forward – that way scary doesn’t come into the equation.
I’ll leave it to you to decide but know where I am heading…
Stephen Cushion – General Manager; Consulting