03 Nov A Means to an End
My starting point is that organisational change management, business transformation, renegotiations/restructures/reinventions are a means to an end. Like a marathon, they are hard. They can stretch the whole of the body and the mind and the heart of an organisation. Despite the organisational health benefits of embracing change, staying agile, disrupting before being disrupted etc., there is only so much change that we can take (or lead) before fatigue sets in. Like a marathon, you would not want to do one unless you have a powerful reason. An end which draws you forward. An outcome that you can celebrate.
At age 54, I decided to do my first marathon. Sure I’d run for years and done 1/2 marathons but the step up to the full 42.2 kms was a big one. I had a case for action to encourage a colleague and to lose weight. I had a vision to say that I’d done one marathon in my lifetime. There were secondary benefits in terms of fitness but the primary outcome was to just do it. To see if I could do it. To know that I could do it. I had my tools (my running shoes), I had my management system (my running watch), I had the base fitness, I had the motivation, and I had the opportunity to train whilst doing this big gig for a year in another state. I chose the Sydney Marathon because I like hills. I did my preparation. I did the run. And it was hard. The first half was fun, the second half was a grind. I learned about myself and what motivates me. I achieved my outcome.
Organisation change is like that. You learn about the mechanics of change. How to create a compelling case for change, how to define an inspiring vision for a different future, how to pull together a high performance team, how to drive change (km by km to the full 42 kms), and how to make it stick. But you also learn about yourself. What you are capable of. What motivates you. Where you get your energy from. How you inspire and encourage others. What is takes to go the last mile.
These posts will share the experience of my running a marathon and my experience of working within a team to lead a large business transformation project. Hopefully some of these reflections resonate with you or challenge you. Hopefully, you will reinforce and challenge my thinking and feelings about how to lead effective organisational change projects. Hopefully, like my running watch, you will help me to run faster.