Category Archives: Change

Wishing you less in the New Year

Too much information.  That’s the cry from this year.

I remember when we first started on the internet back in the last century.  I’d already been living with corporate email for almost a decade before the internet hit full steam.  So I laughed a little at the analogy that the internet of the early 90’s was like “drinking through a fire hose”.   Anyone else remember that line?

I was a voracious reader.  I was a quick study.  I could stay up later than anyone.  I could keep up.

No more.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to yell “give!”

For the first time in my life, this last year has overwhelmed me.  Yes, I take on too much.  Yes, my fascination with many things keeps me over-committed.  But for the first time, no amount of working harder will get me out of it.  It’s been a brutal year in that regard.

So I have to get smarter and better.  That’s not a New Year’s resolution.  It’s a necessity.

But it’s not all hopeless.  I’ve started to develop some strategies for dealing with all of this.  I’ll be glad to share them with readers of this blog.   But in the coming year, I’m going to be looking at ways of — changing the game on this issue of too much information.

I’d appreciate your help and input.

What game changing strategies have you adopted to help you cope?  How have they worked?  What obstacles have you found?  What are the real issues you are confronting.

C’mon.  Share.  Leave a comment on the blog.  It only takes a few minutes.  Spelling doesn’t count.
Let’s work this out together.

And have a great Christmas — and a wonderful, stress free New Year.

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Filed under Change, Lean

Think small…change the world

Don’t kid yourself. Thinking that you can find new solutions is not only a matter of science. It’s a matter of faith. It’s not faith founded on belief without substance or experience.

But sometimes our experiences play tricks on us. We don’t see the real problems and the real solutions. We’ve been conditioned not to see that solutions do exist. We’ve been trained to play the game a certain way. We can only see the solutions that are “acceptable” or fit the “accepted wisdom”.

Someone once said that “for every difficult question there is a simple, direct answer. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.”

I’ve found that to be so very true. As I work with process transformation using LEAN techniques, I’ve been struck by how many times the real, lasting solutions to tough problems are counter intuitive. They go against traditional wisdom.

I’ve learned that you have to balance these contradictions. I’ve learned to do things that seemed outrageous at first but really work. You have to slow down to speed up. I’ve learned that bigger isn’t better – that you can produce more efficiently in smaller units which are produced at the rate they are consumed. I’ve learned that you have to give up control to get a disciplined regulation of an organization. Sound like nonsense to you? That’s okay. I didn’t accept half of this stuff at first.

It took me a long time to realize that biggest impediment to problem solving is the way we stick to the things we “know” and rule out new and novel solutions. We do this even when our existing solutions are what is causing the problems.

What makes it more more insidious is that we don’t even realize what we are doing this until, for the lucky few, someone comes along and shows us that the emperor has no clothes.

The problems we face are large and important. If we merely show that our current wisdom is leading us off an abyss, we have not solved the problem. We’ve created another — hopelessness. When people fell hopeless and helpless, they simply go into denial. What we need is the faith and belief that there is a solution, if only we can see it.

How do you get people to try new solutions which their whole education and all general wisdom tell them are “pie in the sky” or “dreams” or will just plain never work? I said earlier that I’ve seen the results and now I have faith. But in our scientific and logical world, faith and belief is not enough. It’s rare that any of us have the position to bring a group or an organization along solely on the basis of faith. Real leaders can sometimes do this. It takes tremendous courage.

For the rest, we need to have some proof that if we let go of our current blinders, we can find solutions to even apparently insoluble problems. Only then do we stand a chance of helping others to rid themselves of the the baggage that is obscuring the solution from their view.

The proof is out there if you want to see it. I encountered that today. I’d like to share it with you. Continue reading

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Filed under Change, Lean, Social Media, Social Networking, Strategy

Teach me how to fail – we need the money!

We only learn by our failures. Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard that before. And your cheque is in the mail.

We all repeat this by rote like a demented parrot. How many actually believe it? And if we do, why don’t we act like it?

The cynic would say that the reason we don’t actually allow people to fail is that companies lie. They say they want to encourage taking chances but they really don’t. They simply do not want to pay the price. I suggest that it’s not hypocracy, that gets in the way. The problem is we don’t know HOW to fail. The good news is that you can learn to embrace failure – and reap the rewards. Continue reading

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Filed under Change, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, Technology

Innoculate Your Organization Against Change!

This just in. A group of scientists today announced that they has successfully created a vaccine which is almost 100% effective in preventing any change within an organization.

A spokesperson for the group claimed that they had decoded the basic DNA of organizational change and come up with a fool-proof method of ensuring that change was prevented totally or if any change variant did manage to get instilled in the organization, that it would be short-lived.

Since change itself can get started in a number of ways, the scientists stressed that it had to be systematically attacked at a number of levels. These multiple strategies, have an added bonus. They not only destroy the current infusion of change — but these anti-change factors actually work on the organizations own immune system. Initially, they work to destroy the initial change itself. But incredibly, they teach the immune system of the organization to find and tackle new and different changes.

“Soon, the organization becomes protected from change whatever the source,” said one of the researchers.

Okay…. I was just kidding. But it struck me today that this isn’t too far fetched. A lot of organizations actually DO things that build up their resistance to change. There are a lot of ways that this happens. I’ve covered some that I’ve been thinking of. Let me known in the comments below if you agree or add your own observation.

Here’s what I was noodling on when the idea of corporate immunity to change came to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Change, Organization, People