The capacity to change

   Aviation is proof that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible

Eddie Rickenbacker, Aviator

Deciding to change is just the beginning.

Planning sets out the actions to be taken but the biggest challenge an organisation faces is how to ensure that the entire team will participate.

But isn’t that the wrong way around?

The strongest route to change is for the team to lead it, taking ownership of their role within the organisation. Supporting individuals to create programmes that they define and lead themselves enables them to not only feel responsible for the work being done and the difference being made but to truly commit to the way forward.

In this way there is no step to bring people on board, or get buy in simply because they were part of the process to develop what needs to be done. They have already committed to it.

When we are told that something must simply be done without our input or we are part of a cursory consultation process that is merely about endorsement there is a natural reaction to resist. We feel perhaps threatened or maybe undermined. Feeling like our views aren’t respected naturally leads us to doubt proposals that are put to us.

Conversely, frustrations may develop when there isn’t enough change happening. Colleagues operating processes and managing day to day operations often have the deepest insights into how improvements could be made. All that is needed is an environment in which they feel they have permission to speak out without fear, better still where they are actively encouraged to bring new ideas to the fore.

The word ‘catalyst’ is often used about individuals that can enable change. Catalysts can be events too, or even entire organisations within a sector.

With the volatile context we are operating in now things can happen quickly and we need to develop our capacity to change in reaction as well as our capacity to change by choice.

The ability of a catalyst to facilitate a transformation in science is referred to as its catalicity.

Increasing the potential for individuals within an organisation to facilitate programmes to adapt, innovate, create and enable not only benefits those individuals. The wider effect is to increase the organisation’s ability to flex as needed, in other words, to increase its catalicity.

Our programmes begin with the identification of the values and strengths of the organisation and the individuals that it is made up of to determine appropriate strategies. They are then implemented using coaching principles to enable not just engage.

When people understand the need for new ideas and are involved in working out what can be done much more powerful embedded outcomes are possible giving long term results and sparking the evolution of organisational cultures.

Wouldn’t you rather buy in to that?


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