2016 is off and running. I have flown and driven. I have met colleagues and customers. I have had busy and complex days. I have enjoyed quiet and straightforward days. I have met government regulators and local dignitaries. I have stayed up too late and woken up tired. And once I went to bed early and woke up fresh. We have reviewed our individual and organisation performance in 2015. We have set out our ambition for 2016.
And change is already with us. Organisational change, industry change and personal change. No surprise there. One of the eternal truisms is that the only thing that is constant is change!
And as ever, we all worry more about change that we feel we have little control over…and are more relaxed by change that we believe we have instigated ourselves. ‘Feel’ and ‘believe’ are the operative words since – likely as not – we have more control over events around us that we feel are ‘out of control’, and less influence over events we believe we have instigated that impact us. But either way…it is still change.
We all handle change. In truth we all handle change much better than we ever give ourselves credit for. Most of us consider that we don’t like change. When change happens – or is about to happen – it is much easier for us to identify the aspects we like that we believe will disappear, or will be worse, because of that change. It is much harder – although not impossible – for us to conceive of anything that will be better based on the change. But there are always positive unintended consequences of any change…every bit as much as there is potential for negative unintended consequences.
When change happens around us or to us…around me or to me…the thing that helps me most is information. Why has this happened? What are we trying to do? How long will it take? What were the other options? The list goes on. I have developed an insatiable desire to know information about change.
The good news is that we all are the same…and therefore we all seek information. And if we are involved in leading change, we also know that it is important to provide as much information as possible…in as many ways as possible. People like to read information. Oher like to hear. Others watch. And many discuss. I like to read, listen, see and converse.
My network is always essential to me: people, colleagues and friends. At times of change I talk with them all as much as possible, I ask as much as I can…and I listen. Carefully. And it is amazing – even now – how often these conversations help me immensely.
Looking back at last week, I realised that I had managed to discuss changes in our organisation, our industry and for us personally. Almost always with people who didn’t really feel that they knew any more about what was happening than I did. My only hope is that I helped these individuals as much as they helped me. Because they did really help me.
I see more now, and (believe) I understand more now, about what is happening and why…and why now. And that gives me a feeling of reassurance and empowerment. Reassuring – because I am not thinking about those changes as much. Empowering – because I am thinking about opportunity. How can I, and we, help and support, give and gain benefit, from what is happening with our organisation, our industry and ourselves.
There’s an old UK telephone advertisement with the catch line…it’s good to talk.