Pt 6 – A clarifying week

Over the past week, I am grateful that a further seven awesome human beings have kindly offered their time to be part of my primary research for the book including Garry Ridge, CEO of the WD40 company, Arlene Mendoza, innovation expert, Mike Vacanti, author and founder of the #HumansFirst movement, Cornell Thomas, motivational speaker, and social entrepreneur, Lara Plaxton, Chief People Officer, and design thinking advocate, Samantha Suppiah, engineer and regeneration specialist, and Bart Scholtissen, WimHof Academy trainer and neuroscientist.

With 19 interviews now conducted out of a target of 30, some key themes are taking shape around when change works well, when change fails, and the possible link between growth and change. Can you guess what they are?

  • Every single one of the 19 people interviewed so far asserts that change IS indeed an inside job. There are nuances in reply which you will learn more about within the book, but in essence, it is agreed that change only works from engaging inside-out
  • When people are involved and can ‘buy-in’ from their view of the world, inside-out, and are part of an organisational change, there is a higher likelihood of successful change. It seems so obvious, yet 70% of all change has been evidenced to fail due to people having change done TO them!
  • Unanimously, the interviewees advise that change is inextricably linked to growth

One of my favourite recommendations for anybody that is thinking about change, personally or professionally, came from Garry Ridge:

“Embrace it. Totally embrace it. Make it yours, be the champion of change”

I also really enjoyed learning from Lara that effective change for her includes:

“Change is much more effective when you are as transparent as you can be, when you are empathetic, when you think about how change will impact people and as often as you can, bringing different peoples perspectives so that when the change comes about, it meets people in the right way”

This intentionality that Lara is pointing to is so often missing, certainly in my own lived experience and that of many of the other interviewees. Maybe our enforced slowdown can help improve that as we prize the slower pace and opportunity to see and sense more?

The mass ‘change’ to remote working over recent weeks

One of the biggest changes in recent times that I have experienced is a) the belief being completed shattered that remote working is not for all and b) the ability to move education and business online in a matter of days.

One of the leading global remote work specialists of our time is Cali Williams Yost who has been serving organisations in this arena since the mid-1990s.

I was grateful to host a conversation on the Value through Vulnerability podcast with Cali recently who shared some wonderful insights including:

“It’s a shift in mindset, it’s a letting go that many leaders are afraid of as they feel it is going to be chaos, nothing is going to get done, how do you know people are working, how do you engage with them, it’s a whole new way of leading that many are not confident will be able to make that pivot”

What I find curious, is that changes like this are opening up important conversations around trust, culture, and communication.

Cali helpfully offers 5 key considerations for those that looking to make the most of any change related to remote working as follows:

–          Being clear about what the priorities are

–          Leveraging the technology, you already have

–          Effectively communicating and coordinating together

–          Helping your people be intentional

–          Leverage what you have learned from that on the other side

Speaking on change and vulnerability

I was grateful to be invited to speak at 3 online events over this past week:

  1. Eleanor Tweddle’s 5-day online festival
  2. Mike Vacanti’s HumansFirst rally, and
  3. The inaugural Hacking HR Mumbai event.

In case of any interest, my talk at Eleanor’s festival can be found here and my talk at Mike’s rally can be found here, with my talk starting at 3hrs 11 mins in.

I was grateful to speak alongside some of my modern-day inspirations including Minda HartsAmy Edmondson, Bob Chapman, and more.

Timeline of the book

As of today, I have sketched out 18,000 of the targeted 35,000 words so following some advice from my friend Shakil Butt, I will be trying to get it written by the end of June/July for a first editorial pass with whoever or however I decide to publish.

I hope that you and yours are keeping safe and well and as always, I hope that you find some content and /or insights within this update that offers you value.

Any and all feedback or questions are welcome too 🙂

Be well.