Lasting change…?


Please reach me the cookbook!

Imagine. You are a leader of an organisation and facing the challenges of today’s business landscape. You have the exciting task at hand to support your organisation through a Business Agile transformation so your company is able to execute on its purpose and become adaptive to change.

Pressure from stakeholders

Although you are excited and motivated, it’s also quite a heavy burden. You started enthusiastic, but now you feel the pressure from your shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders, that are starting to ask questions like: ‘How much longer do you think this transformation will take. When do you expect it to be ready, as it costs way too much money.’

Together with your Transformation Team you have a conversation around these questions. ‘Colleagues listen, the investors are knocking on our door and want answers. What is our progress and when are we ready?’ ‘Well’, May – one of the colleagues in the team answers, ‘you know that we started all kinds of experiments. And to be honest, they worked very well and people where excited.’ ‘Sorry to interrupt you,’ you jump in, ‘why are you talking in the past tense?’

Experiments come to a halt

May laughs and continues, ‘because most of our experiments stopped while still being in progress. These experiments did not last, as people who were involved in the experiments, were too occupied with their day-to-day work and had to go back to their regular teams again. Some of the employees involved, worked over 70 hours p/week, without receiving any reward for it. Which by the way, is not the biggest issue here. Their biggest question is that there is no clarity about why we are doing these experiments. Where do they contribute to? When is it a success and what will be next?’

How to continue?

’So, the people resist,’ you respond. ‘No,’ May continues, ‘they do not resist. Of course, they want to know what these changes mean for their future jobs, but what is more important, is that they do not believe that our leaders and investors are committed to this change. They have the feeling that they are the only ones that are required to change, and also without any proper support.’

After a pause you watch the team, ’Maybe they are right. Now, what can we do to move forward? I wish there was a kind of cookbook for helping us further.’

The A-to-B roadmap is ready for the bin

In last week’s we spoke about the importance of change communication. No matter whether your change initiative is large or small, you will face a barrage of questions from your teams:

  • Why do I need to change?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • What happens if I don’t change?

These questions matter. And probably more than you might realise. They shape the very foundation upon which successful transformation rests. 

In the past, change often meant moving from point A to B – a reshuffling of pieces on the board. Change might be forced upon us by an external cause, like new legislation, such as the number of hours somebody is allowed to work or the order to work from home during COVID. In such cases, organisations adjust or replace their structure or processes and continue with their operating model as before.

Straightforward roadmap

    But today’s world, demands a different, more iterative approach. The landscape is in a perpetual motion, as evidenced by recent global events that reshaped our realities overnight. The era of rigid roadmaps and waterfall projects has evolved into a quest for Agility and iterative growth.

    Iterative approach

    From day one of the transition to Agility, you will experience that things no longer work, the way they always used to work. Tried and tested methods, structures, reorganisation methods, change models and processes fail to bring the change you need. 

    I used to speak about a transition, which is made up of mutual reinforcing developments. Even though it might be your only option, because your survival is at stake, a transition to Agility is not forced upon an organisation. It’s a choice. A choice that impacts the entire organisational system.

    Shift the landscape step by step

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

    Albert Einstein

    To create lasting transition, it is necessary to take a different approach, with a different kind of thinking and behaviour. The People Journey Circle is a such a different, unique, and human approach that revolves around people and purpose. it’s an approach that closes the gap, between thinking and doing, and connects the tangible with the intangible parts of change. It brings people from all echelons of the organisation together and makes everybody part of the transformation of the system.

    It’s not a fixated plan, cookbook or blueprint that is set in stone and can’t be adjusted along the way. It is a methodology/toolbox that helps you to take the right steps at the right time, along your journey towards Business Agility. It guides you in concrete, practical, and short cyclical steps, in an almost organic way. It helps you to create a differentiating and inclusive journey towards the future of work.

    People Journey Circle – Twinxter Transformation Journey

    Unveiling the journey: Building awareness together

    Circling back to the situation in the above example. Creating awareness and a desire to be part of the transformation, comes with answering questions and a committed leadership that has a clear story about the why and what around the aspired transformation. This story is about the why of your organisation, what you are aiming for and how this transformation contributes to that. A journey like this, is often a bumpy road, so make sure to involve all employees and make it as exciting as possible. 

    The second out of seven pillars of the People Journey Circle is Communication and Awareness. This is about creating awareness and a desire for change. Topics covered here are, amongst others:

    • Effective communication: Start with a crystal-clear ‘why’, aligned with your organisation’s purpose. Ensure your message resonates with the sponsor’s behaviour and credibility. Resistance thrives where alignment, clarity, capability, credibility, and relatability are lacking.
    • Know your audience: Success hinges on truly understanding your people. Engage regularly to comprehend their sentiments, tailor your message to diverse audiences and foster an interactive- and iterative communication approach.
    • Design your Communication Journey: Map out your communication channels strategically. Establish clarity about the impact of the change on roles, but also about the forward-moving process.

    During the next weeks we will continue with other parts of the People Journey Circle to explore different ways to make transformation accessible for everyone.

    Now it’s your turn

    The road to lasting change is a collaborative expedition. So, I love to hear your thoughts or experiences on how to leverage the power of awareness to shape an inspiring future that excels.

    Thanks for reading this blog and looking forward to hearing your thoughts. If you think this is of value for others, then please share it with your network. I greatly appreciate that.

    Additionally, if you have questions leave a comment or get in touch. happy to answer them.

    Wish you a great start of the week!

    Transforming lives and business for good.

    Alize Hofmeester

    It’s my purpose to spark the Human X-factor and create purpose driven spaces where everybody is able to grow.

    How? Put people & purpose at the heart of your organisation and drive your transformation People Led.

    Passionated about living by purpose. Entrepreneur and founder of Twinxter and the TwinxterAcademy, Author of Purpose Driven People, creating business agility & sustainable growth, Co-author of Agile People Principles, Transformational Leadership in the fitness and physical activity sector & Emergence, Creator of the People Journey Circle, Keynote Speaker

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