Choosing a Change Brain

By Jacqui Whyatt, Sr. Director, Business Development EMEA, KellyOCG

Jacqui Whyatt looks at the ways that attitude to change can drive competitive edge.

Change is tough. Whether we choose change or whether it’s something that is imposed upon us, people are driven by habit, and it can be difficult to let go of those behaviours that help us to feel safe. For many organisations, this means it’s easy to get stuck in a ‘this is the way we do things around here’ mentality. But failure to embrace change is so much more than a strategic choice – it can undermine any attempt to move forward and leave you lagging behind the competition. The willingness to adapt, to evolve, and to take calculated risks is at the heart of every thriving business. Today, as we figure out how to navigate a world that has been transformed by Covid-19, change is our new normal. Suddenly, it’s more important than ever to adopt a change-focused mindset.

We’ve recently released our interactive Change Brain – a fun tool that can help you to explore the different aspects of organisational and individual change behaviour. In this blog, I take a closer look at the ways we can all tap into our inner changemaker.

Choosing a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is an important part of leading meaningful change. This way of thinking and behaving means always being open to learning and innovation. But a growth mindset is about more than being open to change, it’s also about learning from failure. People with growth mindsets take every experience and use it to build new skills and make informed choices. They are honest about failure and share their learnings freely. We never stop developing, whether we’re a CEO or a new graduate, and opening up to a growth mindset can transform the way you approach challenges.  

Thinking Beyond Technology

When we think about change, we often think about the latest gadget or AI advancement. Ideas about change are commonly wrapped up in ideas about technology, but the truth is that even the most incredible tech won’t provide the results you’re looking for if you don’t embrace behavioural change. You can roll out a centralised talent hub with the potential to reduce hiring costs and streamline processes, but if your hiring managers in your satellite offices are wedded to paper and their trusted local suppliers, it won’t deliver the results you need. Behavioural change starts from the top, so having leaders who candidly discuss the value of innovation is a great place to start.

Finding the Why

Change matters. But much more important than the act of change is the reason for it. You have to find the why. Whether you’re thinking about a process that’s been in place for decades or a new technology for your business. How does this change help you to reach your business goals? What are the risks and rewards? I remember working with a client many years ago who was running an incredibly arduous report every week. No one seemed to know more than, ‘we need to do it.’  After much digging and paper trail following, it turned out that the person who requested this report had left the business years before. It’s an extreme case but it shows that without a why you can be left putting your effort into the wrong areas.

Resistance to change is bound up in fear. Fear of letting go of the norm. Fear of losing control. Fear of breaking cultural boundaries within an organisation. But giving in to this fear means standing still, which simply isn’t an option for organisations that want to thrive in the marketplace. Intelligent, meaningful change is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal; make sure you’re an advocate for innovation at every level of your business.

Learn more about Talent Leadership in Action (TLIA) and register to attend our upcoming virtual TLIA in July.