If change is the new normal then why not normalise it?

Speaking with a group of 28 professionals at a recent Melbourne Water Master class was energising and reaffirming. It crystallised my own belief about change. During the session, which covered some big topics such as engagement in an era of constant change, influencing stakeholders in the new networked environment, and how to develop a social media enabled enterprise, one common element kept coming up.   Everything that everyone is dealing with has change involved. So my thoughts turned to the question of how capable were we as a room of people to do the job required of us in this new era of faster, better, cheaper, and socially enabled? And are we making it too complex? We’ve all heard the buzz words ‘change is the new normal’, ‘adapt or die’, ‘change resistance’, ‘change fatigue’, ‘change readiness’ and more, as well as endless debate on how to deal with it all. Well here’s something radical …let’s just normalise it. The first hurdle in my opinion is mindset.  I’ve witnessed the official Change Manager on the official Change Program having a mindset of going in to battle. They resource up, use complex approaches, set long, arduous and expensive timeframes and purchase a bullet proof jacket.  To me they are setting up to fail. To avoid further hurdles, check out these tips:

  • Approximately 60% of change initiatives in my experience can and should be seen as normal business progress i.e. removes the word change.  So don’t rush to set it up with a change manager, or worse – a change project stream and spend the time and money that we all no longer have …just do the work in a normal business as usual way.  Go on try it …don’t mention its change and see what happens.
  • For the remaining 40% of initiatives, simplify your approach. For example, why must we have months of stakeholder workshops to collect business readiness if this is what needs to happen, is going to happen, and could happen really quite quickly and simply? What will happen if you skip a step that’s actually redundant in order to get there faster and normalise a component. Also check out my top 12 health check questions for change programs at my zero to hero case study.
  • Nail that killer storyboard on rationale from the get go.  Make people want the change not just neutrally participate.
  • Find and appoint your connector champions (people who are adaptable, go with the flow, have a common sense approach to things) and connect them with your business stakeholders, give them a mandate to keep to the simplified approach and keep others on track.


RT @_rebeccajackson:  Great to meet and hear from @judehorrill today about change, comms, intranets and social media. My key take-away: normalising change. See more at: http://judehorrill.com/#sthash.deS5qHeV.dpuf “Thank you so much for coming and speaking with us.  I received great feedback and our people appreciated your insights.” – Fatima Mohamed, Manager Regional Communications and Engagement team – Customer and Community, Melbourne Water.