When your words mean nothing I go La, La, La!
Shh, did you know there are things in life that no one prepares you for?
Well, if you are anything like me, people try to prepare you, but my overoptimistic demeanour causes me to be like Naughty Boy and Sam Smith, I don’t listen.
“When their words mean nothing, I go La La La!”
They may be talking but the sounds ain’t hitting my radar! It’s going in one ear and out the other!
We are constantly given advice from others, you should do this, you shouldn’t do that. Why then do we choose not to do it, are we not listening? Do we not understand? Do we forget? Or do we not have the will power to do it?
There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin which says:
“Tell me and I will forget,
Teach me and I will remember,
Involve me and I will learn”
I feel this analogy fits perfectly in the work place too. Time after time, I have seen and heard managers, colleagues and business owners talking about their staff saying “I told her/him to do it this way and it’s not been done”. The problem is, they tell their members of staff to change, but they don’t teach them how to change.
Even the name strikes a chord of fear into some people. For lots of us doing things differently or metathesiophobia is a hugely scary thing.
This month I myself have gone through a period of unexpected change. My 18-year-old son Kieran moved out to go to University. It happened suddenly because although he had applied, he was not sure he would get the required grades or that he even wanted to go. But low and behold on A level results day emails arrived from two universities to say he had been accepted.
When I got the news, I was over the moon for him, but the metathesiophobia soon set in.
“Kieran’s lived with me for 18 years now, he shouldn’t go”.
It’s always been this way; I was subconsciously scared of the results of him flying the nest. I took a step back and thought of the talk I delivered for a client only a few months prior.
“CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT” – Heraclitus.
I spoke about how important it is to accept change with open arms, and we should always be prepared for our circumstances to change. Be it in our personal lives or our professional careers. It was time to implement my own teachings.
But how does this relate to you?
It’s prevalent with my clients that often members of staff are reluctant to change. They have the same thoughts I had when Kieran was leaving. Phrases like:
“We have always done it this way, and it’s always been fine”
“I don’t like change, I’m just doing to do it my way”
These are common place in the workplace when management teams or business owners decided to do things differently.
When the fear starts to arise, the shutters come down and fixed mindset takes over. For lots of people negativity is their security to protect themselves.
Luckily, my Intrapreneurship methodology helps members of staff to understand why change is so important.
What is intrapreneurship and how can it aid culture change?
- What would I do if it was my first day?
- On your first day, everything is new. Everything is a change from your usual routine and we, for the most part, accept this with open arms. We can’t say ‘YES’ enough. If staff are taught to treat every day like it is their first day, they are always ready to make changes and lap up the learning.
- What would I do if it was my granny?
- Just like I did with Kieran, I was sad for him to be leaving but I understood that this was a whole new chapter in his life, and he was ready to dive head first into making the drastic change. I had to be there to support him during the change. If staff treat every interaction they make with the respect they would give to their granny, they would build stronger relationships and work better as a team because they would have a deeper understanding of people’s needs.
- What would I do if it was my business?
- This is ultimately where change fits in most importantly in the intrapreneurship methodology. If you had a business, and something wasn’t working, you would want to make a change to ensure you are still getting paid at the end of the month. In start-up businesses, they call this ‘fail-fast’. You try something, if it doesn’t work, you tweak it until it does. If you allow staff autonomy to think like it is their business, they are able to identify the benefits of the change and they are able to understand why they should welcome it.
The client I delivered this for was Thomas Cook. As we all know, sadly, on Monday the 23rd of September Thomas Cook ceased trading. I delivered this methodology to a team of their top performing cabin crew only a few months ago. They were doing something right because they were the top performers, but like anything, practice makes perfect. They needed to be armed with the skills to evolve their roles. The problem for Thomas Cook was that they were not implementing the changes and methodology throughout the whole company or at the right time. Arguably, it was too late.
Here are my quick-fire top tips to improve performance, aid culture change, and avoid failure:
- Change on the way up, not on the way down: change is more likely to succeed on the way up. There’s more room for failure, and people are more positive. You can’t change the culture of a company by only working with selected people. Everyone needs to be on board to get the best results.
- Like altering any habits, changing culture is not a one-day training course, it’s a lifestyle. It is something you have to continuously work on in order to succeed.
- Encouraging intrapreneurship and listening to employees’ ideas helps build stronger teams and helps employees feel valued. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to participate.
- The fortune is in the follow up. Implementation is fine, but it has got to be coached and measured over and over again to ensure success.
To find out more about how you can implement intrapreneurship in your organisation, view my showreel or contact a member of the team below.