— Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
We live in a world of constant whitewater, where ever-increasing change, complexity, and disruption are the new normal. Many organizations struggle to adapt, using traditional ways of introducing and managing change, so what can we do to respond to this new reality with greater impact?
New times and challenges call for innovative forward thinking. Ultimately, we need to discover a better way forward by shifting the focus from managing change to living and working together in new ways. These new ways must allow us to sense changes early and adapt swiftly and intuitively. And, at the same time, they should leverage the innovative new digital technologies that are causing the need for change in order to help us connect and communicate more easily and engage in deeper conversations.
It’s time to recognize that managing change, following best practices, and working harder — and even smarter — are no longer enough and are failing us. These methods all keep us stuck living in the past. Stepping into the future requires us to interact with each other with an open mind, listening to every voice — ready to discover whatever is there for us to see and giving us the freedom to act upon what we discover.
“Change — real change — comes from the inside out,” says Stephen Covey, best-selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Change starts with us. There can be no real and lasting change until we change.
We believe a forward-thinking workplace culture triggers and establishes transformation from the inside out.
We Are All Being Challenged in Today’s World
So many people and organizations today are struggling to adapt and create the conditions that get people out of their comfort zones. Many organizations are striving to be more innovative and engaged so they can fully respond to and benefit from the plethora of digital advances available today. Digital transformation heralds great promise and many benefits, but those will only happen if transformation truly occurs and lasts.
At Forward-Thinking Workplaces, we have hosted an ongoing global exploration and expansive conversation with 80 leaders and executives over the past six years. Out of those conversations (and my own work), many surprising insights and new approaches have come forth.
Most striking are the insights that point to the true nature of the challenges we face. These challenges are rarely mentioned or even addressed in most organizations, although they will undermine any transformation initiative; for example:
- Many people still can’t say what they really think, feel, and act on every day.
- People react largely and mostly based on their circumstances or own internal processes because we don’t realize how the mind works; those who do understand are impacted by circumstances to a lesser degree.
- There is a lot of emphasis on finding and aligning purpose, but the issues of status, power, competition, and so on, are ignored and still remain.
- We’re not aware that almost 99% of our life runs on autopilot, which keeps us stuck living and working in the past.
The need has never been greater to embrace transformation in innovative new ways to deal with the many very real and difficult challenges we face. Transformation has little chance of lasting success when we pretend these challenges don’t exist.
Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt that was taken and adapted from our article, A Forward Thinking Workplace, published in the Cutter Business Technology Journal. A copy of the article is available from Cutter or contact Bill Fox to request a copy.