By the time you have finished reading this short article over 60 aeroplanes from around the world will take off, 12 000 packages will be delivered by UPS, 100 000 tweets will be made and over 100 new website domains will be registered. In fact, by the time you finish reading this paragraph 375 McDonalds burgers will have been sold and 21 babies will be born. Yes, this is a fast paced world and change is going to happen whether we like it or not. Change can be our biggest threat or our greatest opportunity, depending on how we approach it.
Change has existed since the dawn of time but, in recent times, the fast forward button has been pressed and the rate of change has accelerated. A linear view of change will no longer cut it in a world that is experiencing unprecedented rates of change.
In the words of Professor Richard Foster, from Yale University, “today’s rate of change is at a faster pace than ever”. This Professor has even gone so far as to say that as soon as the year 2020, more than 75% of the companies listed on the S&P 500 will be companies we have not even heard of yet!
The average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 is now a meagre 15 years. This is a very stark contrast when compared to a country like Japan where more than 20 000 companies are more than 100 years old, with a few that are even older than 1000 years!
The world of business is changing. In terms of market capitalization, Facebook is now worth more than Disney, Coca-Cola and Intel! Henry Ford famously said “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse”. A great leader has to ensure that their organisation does not only survive, but that it thrives in the new world.
We cannot dispute the importance of innovation and adaptation, yet many people in an organisation still approach change with scepticism, avoidance and fear. TLC’s Change course includes the Change Roadmap (Initiate Change, Plan the Change, Execute the Plan and Make it Stick). This taught me to identify and categorise the stakeholders of an organisation, to identify where they are on the change curve, to prioritise their importance to the change initiative, how to gain buy in from these stakeholders and finally, how to influence and change those who are resilient to change by using a range of effective tools and strategies.
In order to be a successful leader in the new world, we can’t simply be change resilient ourselves, we must be able to influence others to buy into the initiative. According to Ken Blanchard up to 70% of change initiatives fail, with the reason being a lack of buy in from the people who are actually implementing the change.
It is no longer sufficient to embrace change on a personal level, a leader must effectively influence others to do the same. Being a good leader is no longer good enough, leaders must be great. This course empowers you to be the kind of leader you want to be, the kind of leader your organisation needs you to be.
Before you can manage, you must measure and before you can control, you must understand. This course gave me the required knowledge to understand why people are change resistant and insights into the stages they follow along the change curve, as well as the tools to execute this new found knowledge. This course delves into both the science (such as why people experience pain and where it occurs in the brain) and the art (such as the art of persuasion and influence), behind change.
Before I started working I was qualified as a Systems Analyst and I was taught the theory behind systems design. My role, once I started working, was to improve, change and rebuild systems and processes in organisations. One very important ingredient was left out, people. This important ingredient is not just the cherry on top of the cake, as we were led to believe. People are the very flour of the cake. They are the most basic building block of almost any organisation and without buy in from the people, there will be no change.
Change may seem overwhelming and we may be tempted to stick our heads in the sand to avoid change, but with great change comes great opportunity!
If we are not equipped for change then we are equipped for failure. A good leader will be adaptive to change. A great leader will have the skills to incite sustainable change initiatives throughout an organisation.
This change course is offered as classroom training and eLearning or eLearning only. The online course is available through Training Leadership Consulting’s eLearning portal, The Leadership Centre. It includes an eBook per phase with descriptive voice over narrations, interactive quizzes and an online exam to certify. Debbie McCarthy, TLC’s co-founder and Director is the change expert and narrator. Her soothing voice is like the female version of David Attenborough.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It the one that is most adaptive to change” –Charles Darwin.
For more information visit tlc-global.com
By – Kyle Jackson.
Business Analyst at Training Leadership Consulting