Embracing change enables progress and results.
“Staying stuck”, and lacking innovation hinders a company or a business’s point of difference and sustainability in a saturated marketplace.
Way back when (pick your date), large companies and their executive teams had simple goals for themselves, and their organisations: Stability. So many markets were either closed, or undeveloped. Leaders were able to deliver on simple expectations through annual exercises that offered only MODEST modifications to a strategic plan. Prices stayed in check, people stayed in their jobs, life was good.
Fast forward to 2020, thanks to technology enabling market transparency, labor mobility, global capital flows and instantaneous communications, the simple approach toward stability has been smashed to smithereens.
In most industries now, heightened global competition has concentrated leadership in all companies from corporate giants to small businesses to something that in the past it happily avoided.
The world is changing – Keeping up with the market is a growth, and survival strategy.
Successful companies develop a culture that “just keeps moving”.
Replacing traditional hotel reservations – “the personal approach”
“This was once an IDEA” – This would not have happened without adaptability, innovation, and execution.
Pure innovation and embedded change GLOBALLY
The list goes on...
Change is inevitable, but adapting to change, and implementing it is something that needs to be won over on a micro level.
How do we do this?
START WITH THE PEOPLE
To overcome unfamiliar challenges, we must first have an intimate understanding of the human side of change management.
The alignment of values, people and behaviours encourages desired results. VALUE is realised through the sustained collective actions of the people - of the employees who are responsible for designing, executing and living with the changed environment.
So this then begs the question, why is it that we RESIST change? HOW does a company break through that glass ceiling, and maintain consistent high performance and a cutting edge approach?
This all starts with the basis of human psychology – and really, on an individual scale. I’d like to create some self-awareness for you all today.
Firstly… In Australia, we have a condition that very few countries have...
Tall poppy syndrome.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, in Australia, we are socially conditioned to begrudge or resent high achievers and successful people… the “tall poppies”.
Keeping this tall poppy syndrome in mind, I’d like to share with you the BASIS OF HUMAN PHYCHOLOGY.
THIS is how you manage your own internal game as we play life every day.
We are going to explore the importance of being AWARE. If you want to become better, you need to become aware of where you are falling short of performance.
We feed our mind information by the second... 16 trillion bits of information to be exact (mostly unconscious). The brain acts and responds to what information you feed it. If you are saying things like “I can’t xx” “I’m not able to xx” “I don’t like xx”, this manifests into behaviours.
The brain is a COMPUTER – a processor. What you feed it is what will be true.
The reality is that we are where we are, based on what every single individual THINKS, and not only this, but how those thoughts manifest into behaviours that drive the productivity and efficiency of a business.
The reason I like to go into the building blocks of psychology is because I want us ALL to speak a common language when you hear the terms “mindset”, “embracing change”, and “change management”.
So let's dissect this a bit more...
FOUNDATION ONE: CODE (the stories)
Some people use their story as a reason or an excuse to NOT do things. Every brain has been coded. The way we transfer information and knowledge for eons is through sharing STORIES.
Here’s a perfect example of psychological coding.
Finish this sentence… “Money is the root of all…???"
Finish this sentence… “Money doesn’t grow on...???"
Let me guess... i'm quite positive all of you just read that and could EASILY finish those sentences.
Interesting isn’t it… We didn’t all go to the same school, or grow up in the same area, yet how do so many of you KNOW how those sentences finish?
This is an example of some of the cultural stories we have been brought up with that are engrained in the way we live our lives.
What’s REALLY interesting, is when you look at the economic development of some of the societies that adopt these stories, it’s quite interesting when you look at the area of entrepreneurship.
How many of you have seen your parents/family members FIGHT over money…?
Not only where you TOLD money was the root of all evil, you SAW your parents/friends and family argue about it.
So when you hear the key word MONEY you think “IT’S TRUE… ALL THE STORIES I’VE BEEN TOLD ARE RIGHT!”
Let’s use an example most of us can identify with. Who remembers Mr. Burns from the Simpsons? The rich old man, who is evil and lives in a scary mansion.
My question is, where on earth is the wealthy guy that lives on the hill that is really philanthropic, inspiring, giving and charitable? Nowhere to be seen!
We watch these television shows from childhood that impact the stories we tell ourselves. This then manifests into our belief system, which drives our REASONS for doing things, and thus how you identify with the world. 1 + 1 = 2... You see wealthy, successful people like Mr. Burns, and immediately associate negative things with that.
Then we get older and realise, that in order to have FUN, and live life, you NEED to make money… thus we end up with what is called a tangled hierarchy in our psychology, and in our relationship with wealth.
Let’s relate this to CHANGE.
When employees have experienced poor change management within a company previously, maybe not even the one you currently work in. Let's use the implementation of a new technology to improve efficiency as en example... if the change has not been embedded successfully from an executive level right down through all levels of management and leadership, employees will immediately associate that change with something negative.
Therefore, resisting the change that may lead to a successful and positive outcome for you and the company you work for.
Once you are programmed (CODED WITH STORIES), your psychology then plays that story over and over and over, which then forms the basis of the second foundation of human psychology…. The belief system.
2. FOUNDATION TWO: BELIEF SYSTEM (what we believe is what we will see)
If we are coded to believe what we see, i.e. CHANGE IS BAD, then that is what we will SEE. Does that mean that all change is bad? NO!
Our beliefs are what we see.
When we start relating belief systems to CHANGE, if you have a bad relationship with change, then what do you think your beliefs will do when you see changes happening around you that may potentially lead to a more efficient and positive outcome?
YOU WILL NOT SEE IT.
How many of you have had that experience, where you cannot find your car keys. You ask your spouse “honey I can’t find my keys”… and they say… “they’re right in front of you!”… you look, and still cannot find the keys… they then come up to you and pick up the keys right in front of you and say … “are you blind?”
When you condition yourself (code), even if something as simple as the SALT sitting right in front of you in the cupboard, or your keys on the kitchen bench… you won’t see it because your belief is going to drive what you see.
If you believe it is NOT there, your brain will create what we call a scotoma, which in psychology terms is a partial loss of vision or blind spot. The brain filters out 16 trillion bits of information per SECOND. As such your belief psychology is fundamentally important toward visibility towards success, in the implementation of CHANGE. Our beliefs then create the third foundation of our psychology… our value system.
3. VALUE SYSTEM (our reasons for doing things)
The value system, is essentially our motives, our reasons for doing things. The way you’ve been conditioned, trained, or the way that you psychology has been built will determine the things that motivate you and the things that don’t.
If you VALUE something, you behave in a way that demonstrates that… correct?
Most people resent change, but do so unconsciously because they have been socially conditioned to do so. Does this make sense?
We must become aware of the things that we move towards, and the things that we move away from.
4. IDENTITY (how you see yourself)
Who are you when you are not doing what you’re doing? How you see yourself, will determine the next set of stories that you lay down.
If you see yourself as someone that doesn’t embrace change well, then that will just perpetuate into your CODE (Stories that you tell yourself).
The basis of human psychology becomes a symbiotic loop. How you see yourself, and perceive a situation or circumstance will determine the next set of stories that you lay down (basis one-code).
A never ending chain of thoughts and psychological processes that create your identity, that DEFINE how you show up in the world, professionally and personally.
SO… this begs the question, how the heck do we break through psychology to embrace change and love the process?