Unfolding plans 155 – Change Management Institute

I did my pitch to the Change Management Institute last week.  The evening was held in the Northumbria University Business School where the Manor’s goods yard used to be.  It was the first time I had ever been in the building and I must say it was impressive.

I think what I said went down well.  Mike said he would give me some feedback and we are meeting next week but most people seemed happy with the way it went.  At least that is how I felt.

Most of what I talked about I have covered in many presentations before.  Plagiarise thyself!  This was a change management audience though and so I tweaked it to fit the brief.

I talked about how we have put a lot of effort into changing culture but that it has been hard.  I also wanted to describe the kind of organisation I’m trying to create (let’s say on the way to creating). Someone once asked me how far we were through our change journey.  My answer was that we were at the start.

So this is what I want, a customer focussed, demand led, self-organised service where work flows , where teams come together to resolve issues and create opportunities only to dissolve once completed.  I want responsibility to be as close to the customer as possible and a service where management is about shaping and enabling rather than deciding and telling and where everyone is involved in defining the way our business develops.

Communicative, open, fluid, honest, ethical, visible, approachable, collaborative, agile, co-creative and sharing.

I talked about your personal brand and how as Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon said, ‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’. Do not underestimate your brand in a leadership role.

I came up with my four rules for change:

Change yourself – if you don’t change then why should anyone else?  Remember you are always on show.  Leadership is a performance art.

Remind people what is important – take every opportunity to say where we are going, what we are trying to achieve and why.

Change is all about people – I’m sure I didn’t have to tell them that yet you can do everything you want but if you don’t bring the people with you then you are snookered.  I work in a people business that happens to deal in technology.  I’ve previously described how our ICT Strategy is 60% people and I estimate that about 70% of my time is either with customers or in with the team.

The future will be different from today – the job never ends.  The harder you work the more there will be to do and change is a constant.

And I summed up with a stirring close:

Work isn’t about buildings or structure or technology.  You need all these things but it is about using all of the talent you have in your organisation, letting it go to flourish and create ideas that customers want to use.  Technology is going to help.  ICT is going to set us free.  ICT is going to liberate us and this is why we need an effective ICT strategy, to transform the way that we work and the kind of work we do.

We need to embrace the new, challenge our assumptions and question our own thoughts and views.  We should take the opportunity to work in places we’ve never tried before, in places we don’t normally go to and in departments where we don’t normally work. This will make change part of what we do, not something out of the ordinary and will prove to everyone that it is something that we are personally committed to.

My belief is that to change people you need to get in amongst them.  It helps us to know more about the people we work with.  But not just in a formal way.  Leadership and change must be everyday activities.  Just turn up unannounced, say hi, ask if the desk is free today, open up your laptop and get going.

We need to be the change we want.

We need to be Guerrilla Workers.

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