Have you ever noticed the emotions involved when you want to change something or you are going through a change? Joy or sadness, anger or fear, trust or distrust, surprise or anticipation? These are our primitive emotions, which are hard-wired responses in all of us and correspond to a distinct and dedicated neurological circuit. Being hardwired, basic emotions (or ‘affect programs’) are innate and universal, automatic, and fast, and trigger behaviour with a high survival value. Change evokes emotions and as you may have experienced yourself in your business life, most of the time change evokes fear and distrust, leading to frustration and physical responses such a stress. It makes you feel uncomfortable and you would probably start finding ways to relieve yourself from stress as it feels unpleasant and unwanted. But would it be worthwhile to embrace this stress and dig deeper into what actually stresses you or others out?
You want change in your life, in your career, in your behaviour. But it is hard and every time when you think you are ready for the change, something pulls you back. Triggers such as a situation, certain circumstances, old habits, feelings. I am sure you have said it yourself: Oh, it’s the story of my life… Thoroughly asking yourself why you actually end up not doing what you really want and stand for, but remaining stuck in old habits, can change the story of your life. So how do you change the story of your life?
- only for clients - I hear more and more people thinking of a career change, but not that many people make the change they want so much. It is not easy and I speak from experience. Three years ago I took the decision to quit my corporate career after 17 years as it did not fulfill me anymore, but also because I knew that if I waited longer, it would be very hard to become successful in a new profession. Recently, I came across an older article (1992) of Carole Kanchier, who wrote her Phd dissertation with the title Dare to Change your Job and your Life and she identified 7 stages of career change, based on interviews with thousands of women and men. When I read it and compared my career change process, I thought she is totally right.
Innovation does not mean that new solutions need to be created. Utilising existing resources differently can be innovative too. Positive deviance is a bottom-up approach which identifies and learns from those who demonstrate exceptional performance on an outcome of interest, and assumes that problems can be overcome using solutions that already exist.
Is it possible to change the mindset of a large organisation, such as a multinational? The question is, whether it is possible to scale the principles of Action Science to a larger group, such as an organisation, to change its mindset and thereby improving the actions for the intended outcomes. To understand the possibility, I will reflect on the impact of group dynamics and circumstantial influences on the application of Action Science to a larger group. These dynamics and influences – such as trust, motivation, cultural differences, distances between entities, and constant change – impact group behaviour and therefore the success rate of a collective learning intervention to achieve a mindset change, on individual level and various size levels of an organisation. My reflection.
If you would like to look back on your life when you are old, would you plan to say that it was a great adventure, or that you felt safe? The answer has a lot to do with your personality and how you regulate your motivations with respect to what you want to achieve: do you focus on promotion (self-growth) or prevention (no errors)? The same is valid for your co-workers; it helps to understand what motivates them and to avoid misunderstandings, wrong expectations and mismatches between leaders and their direct reports. How do you recognise the 2 types of regulatory focuses and what motivates them? What is the impact in the workplace? What are the implications for Leaders and HR responsibilities?
Learning from failures is very important for leaders and managers to increase their capacity to cope with crisis events, by learning from the experience of previous crises. Just as well for decreasing subsequent accident and incident rates for decreasing an organization’s risk of failure, for enhancing organizational reliability, and for achieving various organizational outcomes such as service quality, adaptability, innovativeness, and productivity. Didn’t Einstein state that Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results? (you will find the answer at the end of this article). But how can organisations and teams learn from failures? What are the conditions to make it work best?
Corporate Social Responsibility is more on the agenda than ever. The introduction of the Triple Bottom Line (1994) and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have pushed companies to take Corporate Social Responsibility to the next level. But are companies really committed to change their business models and 'live' Corporate Social Responsibility? Is it possible to make radical changes to their business models or are there arguments not to do it? Or is it more of a gimmick? In other words: Is Corporate Social Responsibility used by companies as a defence against making radical changes to their business?
Especially in sports the adagium Never Change a Winning Team is what coaches live by. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? is probably what you have heard at work. But does it make sense to leave things as they are when you are successful? Is your magic formula forever creating top-results? What happens if your successful product becomes obsolete and you have little room to change course, because all your processes have been set up for that one product? Let’s have a look at 3 examples showing the importance of changing a winning team.
Have you ever wondered what is going on when your successful pilot project does not receive implementation approval? Or why your performance does not land that promotion? Decoding power plays and political dynamics provides us with a working tool with which we can analyze organizational politics and orient our action in a politicized way.
In an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty, the one sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge. Markets shift, technologies proliferate, competitors multiply, and products become obsolete almost overnight. Successful companies consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely throughout the organization, and quickly embody it in new technologies and products.