For Change to Happen, You Have to Take Action

Plant your change makers

Plant your change makers. Change doesn’t just happen, like anything in life it requires passion, motivation, commitment, and focus. Create new roles across your organisation – the change makers. Allow them to roam freely, work alongside teams, attend meetings but most importantly, make relationships based on trust. Their job is to encourage and mentor people to embrace their creativity and change. They will question and provoke – ‘yes that’s s good idea let’s see if it works? Have you thought of looking at it this way? What about if we started again? Why can’t we do that?’

Give them budgets, empower them, trust them.

Plant the seeds of change by sprinkling your change makers across the organisation to actively support and enable your teams to reach their full potential and build a culture of change.

Are you walking the talk?

How real are your initiatives? Is your organisation ‘philosophising’ or ‘walking the talk’. Ticking boxes on the latest hot topics such as well-being, diversity and innovation, to name but a few is no substitute for the ‘real deal’. In fact, raising the hopes of people in anticipation of a fundamental shift on a topic that is important to them and then not delivering can cause more harm than good.  So, don’t do it – yes you heard correctly, one of the few challenges where I am saying ‘not to do something’. Only promise change through initiatives if you are really serious about actually doing something different that will positively impact people.

Test yourself. Choose an initiative, one that has had senior backing and a big ‘noise’ associated with it. Then go out there and see if you have really ‘walked the talk’. Analyse whether the anticipated benefits have been achieved, conduct interviews, carry out surveys, observe behaviours – seek out the truth and be honest with yourselves about whether you have been philosophising or really creating change.  If not, why not? Take it on the chin and then really take action.

Let go of budgets

Let go of the budgets – yes you heard me, just let them go. Allow your teams to be responsible for their own budgets – how much do they think they will need? How much do they think they will generate or enable others to generate? Let the team manage their budgets and discuss progress with their leaders – in a positive and constructive way. If things go wrong, have a backup plan – an ‘oops didn’t see that coming’ pot that teams can access with the help of their leaders.

Set guidelines, there is only so much money available in total so when all of the budgets are in, analyse the over or underspend – yes you may find an underspend believe it or not and then go back and talk to the teams, as grown ups about how to resolve the deficit and manage priorities.

And don’t just ask teams to think about £’s, that is only one aspect of a budget. £’s are incurred by people and activities required to generate outcomes. So, encourage your teams to think about that too – how are the outcomes going to be achieved, can they afford if, if not what other options do they have? Empower them to manage their resources, be creative about how they use them, and provide support not punishment if the plans go awry because that’s life.

Choose your own team

Allow people to choose their team. One of the reasons why so many people are unhappy at work is that they simply do not enjoy what they do. What if we allowed our teams to ‘play’ (within the realms of reality).

Try running a small experiment, take 3 teams each focused on different aspects of the business. Get each team to choose an anchor – the person who will not rotate to another team as part of this exercise. The anchor then presents the raison d’etre, working protocols and outcomes of their team to everyone involved. All of the other team members are then empowered to choose which team they would like to join for a trial period of 1/2 weeks. Now a level of common sense will be required, i.e if everyone only chooses one or two of the teams there may be some deeper issues you need to address first!

Can we make people happier and more engaged by giving them a chance to try something new, that they are naturally more drawn to? How will it affect the longer-term quality and outcomes of the team? After an initial period of training and familiarisation, can the new level of energy and motivation outweigh the upheaval of creating the change in the first place?

So, encourage your teams to think about that too – how are the outcomes going to be achieved, can they afford if, if not what other options do they have? Empower them to manage their resources, be creative about how they use them and provide support not punishment if the plans go awry because that’s life.

Change the labels

  • Don’t have full or part-time jobs, simply have jobs that deliver outcomes.
  • Don’t ask for recent experience and employment, ask for relevant experience and life skills.
  • Don’t ask for a CV – ask for a biography.
  • Don’t ask people to come to an interview, ask for a conversation.
  • Don’t set a location, discuss a journey.
  • Don’t talk about salary levels, discuss value, and agree on a fair ‘deal’ for the outcomes required.
  • Don’t offer a number of days holiday pa, talk about the level of ‘time out’ required to replenish, refresh, and re-engage people’s being.
  • Most importantly, don’t talk about being at ‘work’ – talk about where and how people create and innovate, what the community can offer, how you will be empowered, what is your contribution to the overall purpose of the organisation and how can you shape it.
  • Don’t have a start date, have a ‘try it and see’ period so that both the organisation and individual can experience each other and validate/tailor/change how they can contribute to each other’s development.
  • Be a part of your organisation not only a leader of it – be brave enough to see where you end up which may well be so much better than where you had planned to go.

Change the way you see the organisation

What would happen if you looked at your organisation using this as your template?

  1. Redefine the organisations purpose, profit is only as good as the value it can create.
  2. Keep the strategic goals simple and directly driven by the raisin d’etre.
  3. Develop a community rather than a workforce.
  4. Ensure that change co-exists alongside BAU.

The common goal will drive the community, which will deliver the outcomes, which will deliver the value, which will create the profit.

Organised chaos

Are you ready for a daring and gutsy approach to managing your organisation?

Welcome to ‘Organised Chaos’. ‘Organised Chaos’ – these 2 words are profoundly important and the balance between them is the key to your success. Too much structure stifles creativity, restricts the development of employees, and ultimately, reduces the value to clients. Alternatively, too much ‘chaos’ and freedom can lead to dis-connected ideas, budget overspends, employees focused on their needs not that of the wider community, and a culture of confusion.

So, the trick is designing an organisational model loose enough to be flexible but strong enough to hold the vision, community and outcomes together.

That model will be different for each organisation but the critical success factors against which it should be rigorously tested will be the same:

  • Can it create and bring to life a common, purposeful vision?
  • Can it attract and constantly develop employees to be their ‘whole self’?
  • Can it enable new ideas and value creation for its customers in a painless manner ensuring that people understand who is responsible for what by when?

But remember the foundation upon which it must be built has to be trust.


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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