Is this what you think about your company? Is this how people in your team would describe your organization to others? Luckily for us change managers is that most companies are indeed insane but only according to the definition as per Albert Einstein who famously reported:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time.”
It is so easy to criticize and to make telling observations. It’s also pretty easy to come up with great new ideas. What is much more difficult (as explored in last week’s blog with our CIO’s) is to get people to behave differently; that once accepting that change is a good idea and needed, to actually do something about it. Because this is so difficult we find our companies far too close to Einstein’s definition for our liking.
Perhaps one of the big differentiators in great scientists and successful people in general, is that when they see something is not working, they immediately try another way – and keep trying other ways until they find one that works.
Edison, Franklin, Tesla, Babbage, Maxwell, Smith, Faraday, Ford, Einstein – the list goes on… all these people had enormous powers of concentration, inquiring minds and the ability to stay open and look for different ways of solving a problem.
Change management, if it is to offer any benefit at all, needs to provide the missing elements to motivate people to pick up their good ideas and to implement them in a sustainable way. And yet still, so many companies fail to recognize that this is the key area where they are going wrong. It’s not in their organization charts, or in their worst processes, it’s in their inability to be able to do anything about them.
If I, on a personal level, am to do anything useful at all with my remaining years of working with clients, it will be to give them the tools and the encouragement they need to bring about change. The challenge is, there’s only one of me and many potential clients and although through The Partnership we are gaining more leverage, we are still only a drop in the ocean. I know my team are not the only change management specialists in the world but it seems so hard to find others that understand even the basics of how to get teams moving in a new way.
So yes, ‘insanity’ it’s an accurate diagnosis for many organisations. However, we know the cure. All we need to do is to find enough qualified change managers to administer it. After all, we should only need one per client as it is not the change managers that need to change, it’s their client’s! – Correction: Change managers can also be found suffering from ‘insanity’, mostly brought on by two drivers: 1. Exhaustion at their place of work. 2. Tackling their own ability to change when it is required within their environment! 🙂
It’s a wonder we advance at all – but we can, believe me!
Have a good week,