Creating aspirational change without trepidation


Creating aspirational change without trepidation. Change is something most face with trepidation. We are not comfortable with the unknown and unwilling to replace the comfort of the understood and accepted. 

The challenge is the world is continually changing, whether we accept it or not. Day turns to night, summer to winter, and the young become old. None of this is guaranteed, and our best plans are foiled because of factors beyond our control yet, in most cases, we may gripe, but in the end, we accept what seems beyond our influence. 

So, if we can face these subtle changes with grace, why do we put up such walls when we believe we have control over whether we change or not?

Why do we fight change in our marriages, work, families and such, and why do we create all sorts of internal anxiety having to deal with change?

In my opinion, the illusion of choice and the hard reality that change will happen regardless throws our equilibrium out of kilter. We feel that change is happening to us, not with us and that we are uncomfortable because we are unsure of the outcome.

This is why, when leadership adopts change and decides to roll it out to the organisation, it is met with anxiety and mistrust. Those not part of the decision-making process do not yet understand why change is necessary. They cannot yet comprehend how their jobs, co-workers, and families will be affected. Nor do they know what this means to their current status within the company or if they will become obsolete.

It is no wonder that people rail against change and sabotage it.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Linkedin called Reimagining the Office: Creating Compelling Reasons for Employees to Return.

In this article, Google states they are now attaching attendance compliance to performance reviews. The article did not say why they were doing this, what benefit there was to the average worker to be in the office beyond broad statements of employee unity, and what their end goals were by making people come back to the office. 

Think about it. These people were sent home three years ago, without a plan, without a return date and with very little support, they made it work, and now their bonuses and advancement within the company are predicated on them returning to the office without advancing a clear purpose, mission or goal for doing so.

If we want people to change, we must help them understand why change is necessary. We need to communicate and, with that, listen intently for feedback. We need to understand what people want from employment moving forward, what they believe they are giving up by returning to the office, and what they need to have to overcome that perceived deficit.

Gone are the days when leadership could demand changes, and people followed those changes unconditionally. 

As leaders, we need to be able to articulate our own needs, wants, fears, aspirations and desires but also realise that those we lead have their own that need to be recognised and appreciated.

When we do this, we can create opportunities for both sides to change together because they see a singular purpose and vision and embrace mutually beneficial goals.

Change happens aspirationally.

It happens when everyone believes that change is good and sees the benefit.

When we force change, it is accepted begrudgingly, but it will never be fully actualised if it is not adopted.


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