It Takes a Transformation to Create a New Way to Work

The longer that I pursue this path to create a new, better and more balanced way to work, the more I realize that what I am advocating is transformational change — and it is not for the faint of heart.

There are two types of change.  Incremental change focuses on actions and reactions to external events, situations and people — a one step at a time approach.  It would now be a luxury for organizations to change incrementally, over time, with small changes that slowly build up to a new way to work.

But “slow and steady” is not the norm.  Today’s American workplace is characterized by rapid changes that have created chaos and a certain amount of “breathlessness” in the workplace.   As Jack Welch said, “Change…or die.”  This type of environment requires more far-reaching change.  Transformational change is driven by a clear, detailed, future-oriented vision — it’s compelling, challenging and changes the essence of everything that it touches.

The problem that I see in most organizations is that the leaders of an organizational transformation are using a reactive approach to decision making during the process  — but transformation requires proactive decision making.  As a result, all they can hope to create are incremental changes that usually do not create innovation or a new competitive advantage.  No wonder 50-75% of change initiatives fail — people get impatient, give up or burn out!

It takes a leader to create transformational change.  A leader who will challenge the status quo and take decisive actions toward achievement of the vision.  This is not a project to be managed; it is a revolution that must be led.

Transformational change leaders inherently won’t “take it slowly” because too much is at stake.  But they often fail by trying to change the status quo with a heavy handed, command and control management style.  Transformational change must be led in a way that is inspirational, motivational and humanistic so that people feel supported as they take their tenuous steps out of their comfort zones.  Frightened, angry or apathetic employees have a vested interest in not changing.

Creating a new way to work requires transformational changes in the way in which both work and employees are viewed.  I see the new workplace as one that celebrates the uniquely human characteristics of its workforce — rather than viewing workers as line items on a budget.  A workplace that supports and provides the necessary resources for its employees to succeed — rather than a laissez-faire, “it’s your problem” lack of support.  A workplace that nurtures the creativity that can only be found in its people — rather than viewing their contributions as just a job requirement.  A workplace that celebrates its achievements and recognizes the hard work and sacrifices of its workers — rather than simply adding more responsibilities to the workload.

In short, I see a transformation.  Do you have the courage to make these fundamental changes to the workplace?  I do.

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning and Coaching company focused on eradicating workplace burnout through the B-DOC Model.  An entrepreneur for over 25 years, keynote speaker, author, blogger, business coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action” by watching her TEDx Talk on YouTube.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com

Working Wisdom: Every Minute Has the Power of Choice

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
– Stephen Covey

Life should not be a series of knee jerk reactions to the stuff that happens to us.  When things become chaotic, when we have too many responsibilities and deadlines, we can turn into robots that simply bounce around like bumper cars — with no direction, no balance, no satisfaction.  I’ve found that by focusing on that miraculous moment between an exhalation and an inhalation I can regain my ability to choose.  It’s a way of reconnecting with what really matters.  And when we consistently focus on what really matters, then we create for ourselves the opportunity for not only growth, but ultimately freedom.  We don’t have to bounce around aimlessly.  Within every breath, there’s the chance to choose our response to any given stimulus.  What a relief!

Working Wisdom uses my favorite quotes to think about work in a new way.

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning and Coaching company focused on eradicating workplace burnout through the B-DOC Model.  An entrepreneur for over 25 years, keynote speaker, author, blogger, business coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action” by watching her TEDx Talk on YouTube.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com