You want your organization to perform better, your employees to be satisfied and productive. You know there are certain changes that are needed before this can happen. You’ve tried the usual methods to make change happen and you’ve seen these efforts go down in flames. But rather than fling yourself out of the cycle altogether, you just try harder. And fail more. Here are some ideas why your past efforts at change may have bitten the dust.
Bureaucracy vs. create-cracy. A business plan is wise. Following it to the letter, despite outside envinronmnetal factors is deadly. Sure it’s good to have a plan of action, a template to follow. But too often companies get stuck in worship of the model. That chokes off creative channels.
Distrust of authority vs. trust in one’s own voice. Your employees have probably seen company changes crash and burn. Can you blame them for secretly rolling their eyes at your next change venture? Even worse, expecting them to blindly comply only teaches them to conceal and then snuff out their individual voice. Theirs is the voice that may have the clue to solving your next change situation.
Being jaded vs. feeling joyed. Your people may follow along without complaint: Having a job is wise today. But inside, they are jaded. The more they see the pattern of change-failures erupting in their midst, the more their joy is sucked from their lives. The worst part is that their work-styles will reflect their lack of joy. And so will the company’s bottom line.
Taking the company and its goals too seriously vs. admitting mistakes and accepting defeat. A tough recipe, especially since businesses are not supposed to fail—or at least not admit they’ve failed. But your employees know each of your failures; they probably suffered, too. Maybe they even have a clue as to what you could have done better. Perfectionism is at the opposite pendulum swing from laughter. No humor, no more breadcrumbs along your path toward successful change.
What can you do to help your people and your organization to deal with change? Only one thing: Give them back their sense of humor. You do this by taking the following steps:
1. Give them a sense of belonging TO the change that’s occurring. Rather than merely allowing them to be onlookers.
2. Give them a chance to sense change, contribute to it, and yes even reject it. Hear them out, and let them in.
3. Give up the out-dated model of “leader” because your employees, vendors, and staff are savvy. Their individual lives are progressing, but your model of leading them isn’t.
4. Give in to a sense of joy. Allow yourself to know on a visceral level that change is required. Bracing yourself for change invites fear and poor outcomes.
Accept change and trust it. When you let down your guard, you are in fact letting in those resources that are exactly what you need to move through difficult change.
Dr. Trina Hess’ Humor Academy shows you how to LAUGH through difficult change.