Today is the Winter Solstice – the longest day and the official start of the coldest season of the year.
So, would it surprise you to know that in a couple of weeks’ time the Earth will be at the CLOSEST point in its orbit to the Sun? In other words, that we’re nearer to our fiery star in the chill of Winter and farthest away in the heat of Summer.
If it does you may, like me, be falling into the trap of so-called Northern Hemisphere Chauvinism, the same bias that assumes that North is ‘up’, and that Australia is ‘down under’ (where it is now, of course, summertime).
But this got me thinking – maybe we all need to turn things upside-down from time to time to understand them better.
This idea is particularly applicable to change management strategies. According to research by McKinsey, 70% of all change initiatives fail – and this is largely due to employee resistance (active or passive). So, maybe, the key to ensuring they succeed is by changing the way organizations are looking at change.
Imagine a change process as being like an iceberg. The new stuff – the end goal of the change – stands gleaming above the surface. Meanwhile, down below, are the existing processes and the people that implement them. And herein lies the problem – these things are below the surface, and all too often that is where they remain.
So, organizations need to flip the iceberg. To bring to the surface what lies beneath and focus on the employees that will be impacted by the changes.
But now ask yourself this: how many of the change initiatives within your organization have an HR presence on the project leadership team? My guess is that it won’t be many.
For me the case for challenging the way we approach change implementation is clear. And to make this happen we need to turn accepted thinking on its head. To put people ahead of processes and technology.
Now that may not be such a radical idea for the HR profession, but for many others it will be as counterintuitive as suggesting a world where the South Pole is at the top and sundials run anti-clockwise.
Copyright OrgShakers: The global HR consultancy for workplace transformation founded by David Fairhurst in 2020