The Instrument of Change is You, not what you measure.
Technology is transforming our lives. Our world is changed through technology and changing human beliefs and values. While technology helps us to connect globally, it does not help us find peace within ourselves each day and in the context of the culture that we live in. Jean Houston, specialist in the human potential movement describes today’s lifestyle as moving at celestial speed.” Thoughts we have today actually create the world we live in tomorrow.” Technology hastens the process. We use technology to conduct surgery in shorter times and without a knife. New homes are pre-wired for technology that has yet to be designed. Kitchens contain more packaged food. Appliances are constantly evolving. Entertainment centers, mechanized garage openers, better cars, bathroom and bedroom electronics and disposable products are everywhere. Home offices are fully equipped with more on the horizon. There are chips in our animals and even our body parts. Technology rules our lives. Global conferences consider the technology of waste as our homes and lives are filled with non-repairable items that eventually fill our garbage dumps. All this while much of the world starves. The balance is off.
Stop measuring! Start leading! We measure extensively with little attention to the negative impact this has on our people. New leadership thinking about sustainable quality and the real value of employees in providing continuous improvement is urgently needed. Horst Shulze, past president and CEO of the Ritz-Carleton Hotels spoke extensively about this in his key-note address at a CQI Conference (American Society Quality) in Kansas City. Leadership is responsible for creating a culture where quality can thrive. Many leaders need to develop new skills such as those imbedded in developing community, creating a collective mindset, developing synergy, trust and new, more positive language. Contributing to developing leadership thinking are the Principles of Change outlined in SHIFT: The Secrets of Positive Change for Organizations and Their Leaders. These principles are:
- Tell your truth which is the only truth you know. Especially tell this to those above you.
- Acknowledge what works both to yourself and to others.
- Ask for what you want and need. If you ask, you may get it. The reverse is also true.
- Step aside and let change happen! Don’t measure one more thing! Don’t reorganize! Call for help to change your thinking!
Change in the workplace. Change always starts with how we think. Then our thoughts are communicated in written or spoken form and finally there is action. Managers strategize, collaborate and compromise to create methods to improve work patterns. Computers, while they were intended to create a paperless society actually create cultures overloaded with forms and reproductions of everyday work. Technology, intended to bring balance, has instead accelerated our speed of life. Email messages pour in with increasing numbers, smartphones provide instant client responses, thus interfering with creative thinking time. Email drives unspoken, unwritten expectations. We move faster and faster. The reality is that we have fewer and fewer moments to think and quiet time is when new thought emerges – creativity and innovation. Employees and managers are frazzled.
With continued uncertainty about how to manage the people side of change, companies increase their research and development. They measure more things and increase technology without connecting their people. What’s really needed is to have leaders and managers work differently with their people. To make this happen, use your own people from inside the company who know the culture and use a facilitator of human change from outside the company who doesn’t know what can’t be done. This combination is the secret to a successful, growing, well-balanced company. An efficient idea to make that happen and create the collective mindset you want for your company is creating a company event and hiring a motivational speaker to perfectly pass your message to all of the employees while they connect with each other and yourself. If you’re looking for a good professional for it, check Richard Jadick.
We always have a choice. It’s important to remember that we have choices about what to believe and how to proceed. What we choose actually happens. Make sure that what you ask for is what you really want. If you choose to change, your life will be affected. The reverse is also true; for example, those who resist change are forced to change. They inadvertently give their choice to others and to their company. Resistance throws us into chaos. On a physical level this may result in cancer, depression or other serious illnesses. We see global economic shifts. Cultural patterns are changing, as is the planetary atmosphere. From this apparent breakdown a new system is emerging.
As you consider what you want your organizations to be, remember these things. First, be careful what you think about. If you think something can’t happen, indeed it will not. If you think it can, then it will. Second, if you choose not to change you will be changed anyway. Get out front and create what you want and what works. Third, always keep quality in mind with your primary focus on your customer. What improves every step of the way? Fourth, systems can’t see themselves. Change requires help to break old patterns, to develop greater and different leadership skills. Use experts from inside your company who know your culture and a human system specialist from outside the company who guides new thinking and new methods for change.