Look over the following questions and activities. In this chapter, they are designed to give you an insight into your willingness to lead change toward a more People-Centric culture. Work with your leadership team on this activity—successful change of any kind starts with a strong leadership coalition who are on the same page and working together to create sustainable change.
Application Activity 10.1: Turning Around “Can’t Do” Mindsets
Mindsets strongly impact what we choose to do, and unfortunately, too many of us have a mindset that says we can’t do anything! We stop ourselves. We become our own obstacle, and we don’t see it. We can change our mindset, but that requires some work. Let’s see if this process can help, if your mindset (or those on your leadership team) is stopping you before you start, and you miss the opportunity to bring about change for something that is important to you.
Don’t Do This to Yourself!
In this activity, I want you to do several things in sequence. Do this with your leadership team. Let’s start by assuming that you and your team are unsure about whether to bring a People-Centric culture to your company (division, function, department, team). This activity will give you an opportunity to talk through this and decide if it is worth taking on.
Start by answering the questions “why and why now?” In other words, make your business case for change. Clearly state the consequences for your business if the status quo were to remain unchanged and what would occur if the culture change were to be successful. Finally, if the answers to these questions suggest that moving forward is what you should do, answer the following questions:
As a team, write down all the reasons that you cannot move your company culture to a more People-Centric model. Be explicit—what are the real obstacles you will face? Write them in enough detail so that they are clear to every team member. Be exhaustive—write down all the reasons you think that your culture cannot change.
After you and your team have listed all expected obstacles, go through your list and describe what you can do to counter each point! Yes, that’s right, I want you to argue against yourself, and argue strongly. Try to see if and how the negatives can be turned around and overcome. Your goal should be to identify what you can do…and how you can do it…to bring about change. You should feel free to add resources that are currently available in the organization that will support successful change, even if not in response to the obstacles listed. For example, if you have a cash reserve that can be tapped or you have industry partners who can be called upon to help, list them as well. Again, be clear. Detail helps here.
You are essentially doing a force field analysis
by identifying the forces pushing against change and the forces that can push for change. In the process, you may discover that what was once easily dismissed as impossible to do now starts to look difficult but doable.
Once you can see what can be done, ask these questions:
If there are lingering concerns, what will we need in order to make this doable?
(PS—there will always be lingering concerns!)
This may require multiple meetings, but the outcome can be the beginning of how to think through bringing about change for something that you both want and need. It’s worth the effort, particularly, if it helps you and your teammates turn around mindsets that keep you stuck.