Sunday, December 10, 2017

Three Change Dilemmas

When people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiative and self-confident, they can become the real change agents and problem-solvers.

The digital business dynamic allows the organization to morph into the business conditions and organizational capacities change to allow a better fit. Change is inevitable, and the pace of change is increasing. But change is never for its own sake, one of the good reasons for the change is to solve business problems both large and small, hard and soft. Change is neither an isolated nor a random initiative, it is an ongoing business capability. Change is complex as well, here are three change dilemmas.

The more you think of changes, the more confused you become: Change is complex, linear thinking or mathematical logic only often cannot always drive change success. Because change is either an iterative continuum or a quantum leap. It first requires clear thinking which includes both rational thinking (compare and contrast, define the frame of reference, etc.) and creative thinking (a result of holding the contrasting factors in the mind until something new appears). Clear thinking includes hard-wired to constantly seek solutions to problems, and keep the end in mind to ensure change reaching the business expectation. The opposite of clear thinking is either thinking too little or too much (overthinking). Thinking too little about change scenario might lead nowhere or get lost at a certain point, but overthinking causes anxiety and mental confusion as well. Sometimes, energy usually gets focused on problem-solving, and a realization becomes a rush where thoughtfulness about people and processes is a casualty of time. The important thing is to be able to think profoundly by capturing business insight and gaining a true understanding of change. Deep thinking occurs when you look for internal understanding in order to find a way to contribute. It is important to think both hard and smart, fast and slow, holistic and nonlinear, master different thought processes skillfully to lead change with clarity.

The more you change, the more stay the same: Change is not the straight line, there are change curves and bumps on the way. The real problem seems to understand the curve and how it relates to change. The curve is ready to be the steps one goes through during change when in actuality they are the steps that come before the change can take place. Otherwise, it comes to the dilemma “The more you change, the most stay the same.” Functional silo, comfort zone with gained existing stage, wrong groupthink (past success will come to future success), all contribute to creating change curves. In terms of cultural change, a lot of people resist as it takes them outside their comfort zone which generally gives a negative feeling, such as fear, apathy. indifference, loss of control, or personal vulnerability. To ride change curves, the goal of change and improvement should look beyond immediate problem resolution. The focus should include actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. All stages of changes must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure business success. "Begin with an end in mind” should present in any process designed to successfully produce positive changes. Determining what the future needs to look like, and what the transformation must look like is the next step.

The harder you solve the problem, the more problems you create: Often times, people have a tendency to try to fix a symptom which results from the actual cause of the problem. A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived. Therefore, creating the awareness of the problem is the first step to making a solution being understood and accepted, realizing “We can't stay the same,” the realization only comes when the problem is perceived. Fixing issues with speed is not equal to the quick fix or the band-aid approach. Trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste time and resources, increase anxiety. Until the underlying problem is addressed, the symptom or result will continue to return. Due to the complexity of contemporary organizations today, many business problems are also complicated or even seems “illogical” at first sight. Thus, a better solution that crosses all industries is to keep peeling back the layers to find the root cause via asking big WHYs or taking systematic approaches to discover the real cause, address it, and fix problems radically.

When people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiative and self-confident, they can become the real change agents and problem-solvers, to overcome these change dilemmas. Working hard is really about working smarter, with the right mindset and attitude to make positive things happening and deal with the business complexity effortlessly.


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