Change and transformation are what will drive 2021. Leaders and business owners have many different realities to deal with, cope with, and drive forward.
- 9 to 5 as we knew it is gone. We will never return to the industrial age ways of doing.
- Many positions, jobs, products, and services are forever extinct. Yes, some new ones have been added. However, far too many will NEVER resurface.
- Remote working proved to be an excellent experiment. Studies show that learning, meeting and conversing online is just as good, sometimes even better than the old ways.
- Existing online and being digital is the new normal.
- Humans are more connected than ever.
- Those who do not adapt rapidly will continue to wither and rot away.
This is a whole new environment!
Yet 2021 offers the opportunity To get it right finally. For the smart ones, this year is not about exploding sales growth, new marketing initiatives or products or even further cost-cutting to improve the bottom line. It is the year for pursuing effectiveness — in all things People and Technology.
Here is just a handful of the everyday challenges being faced.
- 1. Making adjustments, no matter how big or how small, is difficult for everyone involved. (That’s why understanding upfront the typical failure rates allows for some very fruitful and productive team discussions to beat the odds.)
- 2. Maximizing effectiveness in either People or Technology is just not taught in school or anywhere, for that matter.
- 3. Both of these areas have a traditional focus on compliance. That focus must change to the impact on the company mission/vision/reason for being. (This means measurement standards, KPIs and accountability for the results are re-imagined and upfront in all discussions.)
- 4. In many cases, the discussions will not centre around NEW budget funds. Rather, the debates will be about reassigning existing funds to People and or Technology. (And then ensuring those funds generate a solid ROI.)
- 5. Human beings everywhere are exhausted, afraid for themselves and their families, spread extremely thin, and subject to ever-increasing flare-ups of emotion, anxiety and depression. (This dramatically complicates the styles and modes of leadership.)
The hew and cry for Productivity must finally die
No more change management programs for productivity. The new focus is on Effectiveness. Throughout the entire organization. And some of the ways smart leaders can navigate through this new world is by personally owning the following:
- 1. Nobody has the right answer. (Make peace with NOT having the solutions and seek input from communities and team members.)
- 2. What was is over. What will be is not yet clear. (The best steps to take are forward, following the plan into the fog.)
- 3. Trust. In one’s instincts and intuition. Trust in the dream. In the team.
- 4. Stand firm in the conviction that everything can be measured, and those measurements now serve as solid guideposts. Seek help for defining the measurements.
- 5. Everyone is afraid, exhausted and or emotional. No one is immune.
- 6. Human beings are entitled to fun, joy and kindness. Subversion, submission and sabotage are now extinct.
How to begin
Seth Godin recently posted something about ruts. His exact words were, “It’s not an accident that dirt roads end up with deep ruts on them, that moguls on hills get steeper and that we find ourselves slipping back into the very things that exhaust us at work. Once the pattern starts to be grooved, we repeat it, making the groove ever deeper. Habits are habits because, in many ways, they’re simply easier in the moment.”
Previously I shared the alarming failure rate — 80% — of change management programs. One of the biggest reasons is that there is a colossal challenge in changing anything permanently. Only because it requires we break our old habits and walk away from old ruts. However, the best part about changing is it rewires our instincts and helps us see the world in a new way. We not only see it, but we also act differently. So if the days of change management are over, how do we adjust?
2021 is about Transformation
Kim and I know first-hand the best way to break a habit. It is to commit to a new one and then model new behaviours. That is the secret to all successful transformations. Because ultimately, those new behaviours become second nature and get baked into both the fabric of the organization and the DNA of the humans.
The Bad Wolf Community is not just about sharing information and wisdom with you. It is also about giving you the tools to lever yourself out of the rut and onto the highway. Because walking, breaking habits and trying new things — all with similar minded people — is the easiest way to break free of old habits and make lasting positive changes.
2021 awaits! Let’s do it together!