TED | 谁说改变一定是艰苦的？
When it comes to self-transformation, you can’t help but get a sense of the excitement. But there’s another type of transformation that occupies a very different emotional space. The transformation of organizations. If you’re like most people, when you hear the words “Our organization is going to start a transformation,” you’re thinking, “Uh-oh.”
“Layoffs.” The blood drains from your face, your mind goes into overdrive, frantically searching for some place to run and hide.
Well, you can run, but you really can’t hide. Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours involved in organizations. And due to changes in globalization, changes due to advances in technology and other factors, the reality is our organizations are constantly having to adapt. In fact, I call this the era of “always-on” transformation.
When I shared this idea with my wife Nicola, she said, “Always-on transformation? That sounds exhausting.” And that may be exactly what you’re thinking - and you would be right. Particularly if we continue to approach the transformation of organizations the way we always have been.
But because we can’t hide, we need to sort out two things. First, why is transformation so exhausting? And second, how do we fix it?
First of all, let’s acknowledge that change is hard. People naturally resist change, especially when it’s imposed on them. But there are things that organizations do that make change even harder and more exhausting for people than it needs to be. First of all, leaders often wait too long to act. As a result, everything is happening in crisis mode. Which, of course, tends to be exhausting.
Or, given the urgency, what they’ll do is they’ll just focus on the short-term results, but that doesn’t give any hope for the future. Or they’ll just take a superficial, one-off approach, hoping that they can return back to business as usual as soon as the crisis is over.
This kind of approach is kind of the way some students approach preparing for standardized tests. In order to get test scores to go up, teachers will end up teaching to the test. Now, that approach can work; test results often do go up. But it fails the fundamental goal of education: to prepare students to succeed over the long term.
So given these obstacles, what can we do to transform the way we transform organizations so rather than being exhausting, it’s actually empowering and energizing? To do that, we need to focus on five strategic imperatives, all of which have one thing in common: putting people first.
The first imperative for putting people first is to inspire through purpose. Most transformations have financial and operational goals. These are important and they can be energizing to leaders, but they tend not to be very motivating to most people in the organization. To motivate more broadly, the transformation needs to connect with a deeper sense of purpose.