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By Tom Silver, People and Change Consultant, at BJSS
Having a clear view on what your organisation, team, programme or project is trying to achieve, and why, is essential for delivering change that adds the most value.
Creating inspiring leaders, reconnecting employees with organisational values, and implementing mental health and wellbeing initiatives have long been used to improve productivity in our organisations. Once seen as differentiators in attracting and retaining talent and driving positive change, these practices are now simply hygiene factors – the things all organisations need to keep up. This is certainly my impression having attended the Productivity Summit 2019 last week.
The speakers presented passionately about the changes they had made in their organisations, and the themes were, reassuringly, quite similar. Leadership, values, wellbeing. Their solutions always brought them back to the fundamental truth: happy workers work better.
In my opinion, purpose (the reason for which an organisation exists, or what drives you as an individual) is a much stronger differentiator and driver of business change. Having a clear view on what your organisation, team, programme or project is trying to achieve, and why, is essential for delivering change that adds the most value. When this purpose aligns with the purpose of an individual, and they understand the part they play in the bigger picture, change is much easier to accomplish.
Having a clear view on what your organisation, team, programme or project is trying to achieve, and why, is essential for delivering change that adds the most value
With this in mind, there were three underlying features from the successes demonstrated at the summit, which really resonated with me in terms of making improvements and delivering change:
Marginal gains add up to have a big impact. Minimising disruption of the day-to-day enables change whilst maintaining consistent levels of service. Look at the shifts you want to make across leadership, values, employee engagement, or otherwise, and start small until they all begin to come together.
Create the Right Team
Positivity is infectious (and so is negativity). We take our cues from the behaviour of others, so it’s vital that if you’re leading a team to drive change you must role model the right behaviours and set an infectious vision. Create a team who believe in the vision, who share the purpose, and importantly, who have each others’ backs. How do you do this? Start small, by getting to understand the individuals in your team and helping them to find their purpose.
Define 'Why', Measure, and Communicate
Continuing with ‘purpose’, I’ve always been a big believer in asking ‘why?’ The rate of change is increasing for all organisations as they look to disrupt traditional models and move to more agile ways of working. Therefore, having to justify the existence of change projects is commonplace. Crucially, understand the KPIs you want to improve through the change, be relentless in aligning projects towards making a difference, and frequently measure their impact. When you’re making headway, don’t forget to communicate to senior and front-line stakeholders alike.
I’m interested in learning how others have used purpose in their organisations to drive change, or any other tips on making change happen. Leave a comment or message me directly.