For Change to Happen, You Have to Take Action

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


The line between the individual and the organisation is becoming increasingly blurred, as organisations move away from a mechanistic, bureaucratic structure, towards a living community and individuals strive, for a balanced life, where they feel that what they do matters and that they matter too.

The skills required in our brave new world are changing – we are living in unpredictable, volatile, and unprecedented times of change, disruption, and opportunity. As such, we need creativity, resilience, and empathy in bucket loads.

Creativity is the last legal, competitive advantage.

~Edward de Bono

Below, I have shared some challenges to disrupt, challenge, and motivate organisations to do things differently. Every change starts with action – no matter how large or small, it just needs to start.

The future is today, we are the change we are waiting for, please take a challenge and see where it takes you.

And remember carpe diem.

Bringing humanity and compassion to life

Encourage, enable, and motivate every employee to take time out every few months to go and volunteer for a ’cause’. They are free to choose the cause but it must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. No less than 1 day
  2. Involve a vulnerable part of society
  3. Be at the ‘front line’ of the cause

And why you may ask should an organisation do this? What value will it bring? What is the ROI? This practice will ensure three critical outcomes:

  1. Bring humanity and compassion to life throughout the organisation via tangible action.
  2. Help people retain their sense of perspective, focus on their strengths, and reach their potential.
  3. Encourage people to judge less, listen more, share more, and therefore connect far more effectively with their colleagues.

The ROI – it’s priceless, simply priceless.

  • People feel good about themselves when they can help others.
  • People thrive when they are in a community built on shared values.
  • People need meaning and a purpose.

It is within the gift of the organisation to enable this to happen, so please just do it.

Bin the plans, start a mission

Bin the plans, take a fresh approach – ‘the mission’. The aims of your mission, should you choose to accept are to:

1. Articulate in no more than 2 sentences your raison d’etre – ask everyone in the organisation to write it down. Analyse the results, you will either have your answer or you are lost, in which case pause for thought and agree your raison d’etre with those who matter – your employees.

2. Define your key values – ask everyone in the organisation to name their top 3 values to be adopted in pursuit of the raison d’etre. Analyse and compile a majority – if that is not possible, dig deeper, do you need more than 3? If so then choose more than 3 but not more than 5. Why 5? Because you have to stop somewhere else it becomes impractical.

3. Ask each team to articulate a) what and how they will contribute to the raison d’etre b) how they will bring the values to life c) what budget they require and d) what requirements of leadership and the organisation do they require to deliver their part of the ‘jigsaw’.

Viola, your planning is done.

Next step – deliver the mission, review outcomes real-time and change what needs changing when it needs changing, based on information from those who know.

Make your working environment speak volumes

Build an environment capable of inspiring and caring for your community. It’s important never to under-estimate the impact our environment has on our ability to be happy and to be content. The working environment is the physical representation of the organisations culture, meaning, and commitment to its community.

So, the challenge is to build that environment – put a library at the heart of it, to inspire the constant pursuit of knowledge, human connection, and discussion. Create quiet, private spaces for inner thought and reflection. Build that trim track, get people outdoors to re-invigorate their bodies and minds. Provide a restful and alluring place to eat. Ensure daylight floods in from every angle so that mother nature can be seen and perspective retained. Give people the space and quiet they need to work but also the proximity to talk and reach out for help when they need it. But most of all, keep it classless – value everyone’s contribution and don’t play to the optical illusion of greatness being defined by the size of your office.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, this will take time so, start today.

Understanding your raison d’etre

In one sentence write down the core goal of the organisation, it’s raison d’etre. It has to be captured in one sentence – if you are not able to do this then you need to go back to the drawing board to understand your raison d’etre. Share that sentence with every team in the organisation and ask them to respond with three sentences. Those three sentences need to succinctly describe how each team adds value to the core goal of the organisation. The output from this challenge will tell you three things:

  1. As an organisation, do you really understand your goal?
  2. Do your teams understand the goal?
  3. Do your teams add value to the overall goal and how?

You will be amazed at some of the answers you might get.

The ingredients to create creativity

Ensure that you have all of the ingredients required within your organisation to create creativity. Creating something new or coming up with a new idea is made possible by taking pieces of existing knowledge and combining them together to create something new.

No one is able to have new ideas. You are only able to make new combinations of two or more existing pieces of knowledge.

~Fuster (neuroscientist)

On this basis simply recruiting creative people is not enough in its own right. The organisation also needs to play its part in two critical areas:

  1. Create new knowledge: recruit and create diverse groups of curious people to enable the development of new knowledge
  2. Combine that new knowledge to come up with creative ideas: Provide an environment that provokes and encourages the combination of knowledge to come up with new ideas – one way to do this might be by sprinkling change agents across the organisation.

Take a good look at your organisation, do the ingredients exist?


Nik Davis
Nik Davis
NIK DAVIS is a business transformation expert and has spent 20 years in the corporate world. Her comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve complex problems. She is also a keen observer of life, a writer and eccentric. Nik has recently returned to the world of work after taking a career break to spend time with her family. Upon her return, she found that her perspective had changed, as had the world she was returning to. Nik decided to carve out a new place in that world and mould some of it to fit her too. Nik sees life from quirky angles, shaped by experiences and the vast amount of knowledge we now have access to. She likes to write about her experiences and observations. To ‘tell it how it is’ and to find a more authentic way to live, whether in our professional or personal lives. Nik often talks about finding ‘The Third Way’. It’s a philosophy about life, having a personal life as well as a career, making money and being socially generous, being logical and sensitive, living by the rules of a society but not being afraid to challenge them, inspiring others to feel good but not for your own ego, giving rather than taking. Nik wants to make a difference to this world by getting people to see things differently, to try new ways of working but most of all, to re-discover our true selves and therefore reach our true potential. Nik also has two other persona’s: nikdavis which is where Nik writes about her deeply personal experiences of life. Nik runs a facebook group alongside this website to create a safe place for people to discuss the topics that are raised in her blog. Nik’s second persona is Lilly Isabella and this is where she shares her passion of fashion and design.

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