It’s time for something we already have. Not time for anything else. People have been trying to change for years. And especially changing each other. Entire programs are set up and supervised by internal and external change agents. Programs to change ways of working. Communication must be different. Processes must be different and people must be different. It’s something we see as the only way to improve. But is change really necessary?
I’m doing a fresh look at this. Mind you, not a new view or different view but a clear view of change. What if we took advantage of what’s already there. I never quite understand why a person should change when what is needed is already there. Often it just needs new energy. Charging.
People ask me to help within the organization as a coach. People want to be agile or work with a different way of working. Whether I can help them change everything because it has to be better, faster, cheaper, smaller or bigger. Everything has to go. The employees have to work differently. Management needs to think differently. Processes must be set up differently. Change comes first. I always have to deal with resistance and that is easily explained. People often think that they are already doing a good job. After all, they have years of experience and know how it can work well. They often do not see other ways of doing that work as logical. Suddenly they have to do something different. As a coach and trainer, I see a much more powerful way to do this.
To charge. In many cases I come to organizations and see that the change that has been initiated does not work. What I often see is people who already work very well together and deliver products that are simply good. But often there is a lack of more knowledge or motivation, a clear vision or possibilities to get something done. Often all you need is a boost. Existing knowledge needs an update. Motivation can be made more visible. A vision clear again. Teams need energy and management confirmation. I try to resist change as much as possible and am concerned with charging and amplifying what is already there. Take it from me that this is a very powerful remedy.
How do you do that?
Many people already have the knowledge of how to do something. Whether it concerns knowledge in programming or execution. Or knowledge about ways of working. But often that knowledge needs a refresh. A confirmation that it works but perhaps that knowledge itself needs an update. You don’t necessarily have to unlearn anything. Only that which has been learned can be reactivated. It could literally use an update and some addons.
The most important. But motivation does not require change. Motivation needs transparency. Why I get out of bed and do something has to do with a clear “why”. It’s already in me. My motivation has been shaped by years of experience into what it is today. I know why I want to do something and why I don’t want to do something. Unfortunately, that motivation has become out of focus for many people. As a coach I like to help people to get them clear again. To show why people do what they do and why. Over the years a motivation changes of course, but this is a gradual process that takes place within people themselves. We really don’t have to change that from the outside.
Motivation goes hand in hand with a good vision. Why did we do it? Why do we work with certain ways of working and make certain things? Without a clear vision this is very difficult. Many organizations already have that vision. But that vision is sometimes lost. The spunk has run out and it could use a fresh load of energy. Like neon lighting on the outside of the building. With a refresh of the neon gas and a burst of energy, it can shine again and become visible to everyone. A vision does not need to be changed, it often just needs a refresh.
Everybody has to woods or on a course for team building because things have to be different. Why should a team be any different when there is already what they need. Communication. People know quite well how to consult properly, but often the extra step to obtain consensus is lacking. Or are the connections already there but invisible. People know the work but often do not know each other. Working together is a challenge for many. It is literally what it says. Working on something together. That together part often just needs confirmation. How do we do it, What works for us and what doesn’t. We will feed what can contribute and what works against it gets less attention. Being able to organize yourself, which is very hot, is already present within people. How else do you get to work, did you get your home or do you take the steps in daily life? Only within a workplace together with others does it require good clarifying agreements. Framing and clear freedoms.
Management has to change. Changing from a guiding leader to an understanding supporter. Well no. Confirmation is what is needed. Are the processes that have been devised going well? Where does it get stuck? Where are the points of attention? People take on a managerial role for a reason. We like to be in control and there is nothing wrong with that. It is good to make visible what is going on. To clarify what the wish is and why. And make what is hidden visible again.
Charge work model
Throw everything overboard because we will work completely differently. The joke is that many new ways of working such as Scrum, LeSS, SAFe, Kanban, Unfix or whatever are often based on the already existing ways of working. They just make everything very visible and manageable. Replacing an old way entirely with a new way doesn’t work. Rather look at what works well and fill one or omit. Setting apart the what, why and how is something that many new ways of working have in them. You could call that change, I prefer to call it giving energy. Breathe life into what works well and amplify it. Break down what stands in the way. Unpower it.
You’re not going to change the entire organization, are you? First, that is often an impossible task. The product often remains what it is. The budget flows and sales method are often also fixed. The customers or buyers are who they are. So you don’t change an organization. You may stop and start something new as an option. What you can do is breathe life into that organization. A boost in all areas above. Making visible what really matters. After all, we are really talking about change if you also change the paradigm of the organization. We talk about thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions as a company. That is about everything and almost no organization dares to do that. Believe me, as a coach I can never get there. Simply because they don’t want to change this. And if you don’t, you will never change as an organization. I can understand that choice, so charging is a much better way of thinking about this.
A bit in short what I see as charging but the possibilities are multiple. Charging can be used anywhere. So can you never change? Of course you can. Only it is not your main goal or concern. It is a last resort when really nothing else works. I like to compare it to a smartphone. If an app does not work properly, it can be updated. The phone does not suddenly need to be replaced. If the whole phone does not work properly, there is an update for the operating system. And often after such an update we see that much is still known but with a small addition here and there. You can only update your smartphone if there is enough energy. When the battery is above a certain percentage otherwise the update will fail. So first charge and then update. And yes, if that whole thing doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do anymore. If others can do better and faster. If you can no longer participate with the rest, only then do you consider changing to a new version. In most cases based on what people are used to and what they like. I’m really not switching from an Apple to an Android.
I notice that this way of thinking, from changing to charging, appeals to many people. It is much more obvious and meets with less resistance. It is clearer and more in line with what people want and need. It has much more to do with what is there and how to make the best use of it. It ties in with choices already made in work and living. Changing is to escape from what you don’t want to pay attention to. Charging is paying attention to what is there and matters.