Where ever you work and in all aspects of our lives, one guaranteed constant is change; we know that ongoing change is the new norm, also that the rate of change is getting faster and faster.
As David Brent once said in BBC’s ‘The Office’: ‘Nothing ever changes by staying the same, quite literally’.
With this inevitability of relentless change, we all need to gain an awareness of what change may imply for us and those around us. For example, the type of change and its potential impacts together with the associated risks.
All of us need to reflect and consider what this all means for our personal, professional and learning lives. How can we accommodate the realities of change and make the most of the opportunities that may come our way?
Change can be planned, unplanned and come when its least expected.
In the workplace, a planned change could be the introduction of a new and updated workplace process or a restructure.
An unplanned change could be receiving an unexpected deadline change from a customer or perhaps your Line Manager asking you to do something straight away.
We can all think of many examples as we all look to recognise the realities of constant change: change does happen and you must be as prepared as possible to mitigate the impacts.
Change can often be destabilising, people react differently as we are all individuals. Some will embrace change, others will be ambivalent, several may have a fear of the unknown. For many there will always be an element of uncertainty with change.
The reactions of others are a key important factor to accommodate when deciding on whether or how to implement a change. In many instances, you will be reliant on your people to help make the change go smoothly; they need to come with you so that you navigate any change together.
it is therefore crucial that any change is well planned, clearly structured from the start and throughout you involve all the key stakeholders
For many years change frameworks have been forwarded for us to try and apply to workplace reality. For example, the approaches suggested by Harris, Kotter, Kubler-Ross and Lewin.
In addition to the potential effects on those around you, there are other key stakeholders to consider. For example, your customers, suppliers and investors. Even a minor process change can affect the customer experience and the supply chain.
Effective communication underpins any change; share the realities of any change and involve all your key stakeholders throughout. Any change has a relative degree of risk, where possible the level of risk needs to be accurately assessed. Without any doubt whatsoever, a robust communications strategy, in all change scenarios, can help to reduce risk.
On a more global scale we are witnessing some truly seismic changes. Our world is broadly divided into the developed, emerging and frontier regions. More and more are being connected by technology although we are still some way off the 24/7 global communication strapline we so often see used (today, for example, the clear majority of the world’s population do not have internet access). Most commentators have a vision that in future years China could become the most powerful political and economic global nation; in these circumstances, we would all witness very different global strategy to that of the United States, which many would say is the current world leader.
Change is a relative challenge for us all. We all need to constantly reflect around how we can accommodate this reality, what change may mean for us in every aspect of our lives.
For our careers, consider what will be the essential key skills and competencies for the future (to run alongside artificial intelligence).
For those around us, how can we successfully embrace and enjoy the opportunities that change may offer?
For each of us, the answers to these questions and others will be different; why? Because we are all unique.
Two final thoughts for now……
‘Change is the law of life. Those who look to the past or present are certain to miss the future’ John F. Kennedy
And hopefully to make you smile……
‘Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine’ Robert C. Gallagher
We hope you have enjoyed our latest blog. Please let us know and, if you have chance, see what else we get up to by visiting our website www.djlearning.co.uk
‘Onward and upwards’,
Dave and Oliver James