Partnering Adaptive Leadership with Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation involves creative ways to establish new markets and reshape existing ones. The result is that organizations are causing us to rethink the reason they exist because companies need the ability to respond quickly when new strategic-agility-e1570059952496.jpgadvances are introduced internally or externally.

As I have written about in the past, the term companies have migrated to for this is called “organizational agility.

This term was originated in alignment with the concept behind Agile Software Development, which contains primary values centered around human design.  Through agile development, teams and individuals are empowered to:

  1. Make Decisions (where managers act as advisers)
  2. Solve Problems
  3. Employees are authorized to meet customer or stakeholder needs vs. participating in contract negotiations
  4. Responding to change is more important than following a plan

Continuous changing means that leaders need to learn to practice Adaptive leadership.  Below are five ways to become an adaptive leader:

  1. Seek input to challenge your decisions 
  2. Focus on results, let team solve for it
  3. If it does not succeed, give praise and ask them what they learned
  4. Help them to understand why it did not
  5. Encourage them to try again

During our continual shifting transformations, please feel free to share your observations about this below. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Temporary | What Short Term Things Have Lasting Effects?

What you seek, is seeking you. – Rumi

Temporary things: Mobile phones, the next promotion, people, expectations, certainty, uncertainty, a second, minute or hour.  Whether it is a fleeting moment we experience or an object we admire, what we think about, how we feel, or the people we interact with each day, everything is temporary. So what are the things we consider short-term, that have lasting effects?

Venice Beach WavesWe live in an era of distraction,  where the media is enticing us of the “need” to pursue materialistic things. Temporary, inanimate objects that we can’t take with us at the end of this life. And so, these distractions continue to build up and are eventually forgotten.  But what about the real value that comes with being fully present for the people in our lives.

So where do we look to find happiness? Sometimes we are chasing that next great thing or goal just around the corner with the mentality; “If I could just get there, life will be perfect.” But perhaps when we get there, it doesn’t have the answers we seek or we don’t feel the euphoria we believed it would provide. Kind of like the quote at the beginning of this post. The answers are not external.

I love the art of photography and have for years. There is something about stopping for a moment to capture the miracle of beauty often overlooked, and then sharing it.  The picture in this post was taken at Venice Beach in California. I love how the drops individually sparkle as the waves crashed upon the rocks along with the meditative sounds that accompany it. While many would argue this photo is temporary, others could enjoy its beauty for years. I look at it and remember the joy of the experience and creating moments with my family. Thanks for visiting my blog, feel free to leave any comments below.

Black Violin – Serene Musical Moment at the Ordway in St. Paul

The topic of the weekly photo challenge is SERENE – share a moment of silent bliss. While this isn’t a photo, this week I refer to it as a form of picture art with a twist. Though it isn’t silent, you will be pleasantly surprised. We found ourselves listening in quiet bliss during the concert. Black Violin consists of two classically trained artists, Will B, and Kev Marcus, who have skillfully taken their art form to a new level by integrating hip hop and calling their most recent tour; “Classical Boom.” These gentlemen have shared the stage with Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty. They have also collaborated with Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean (to name a few).

Everywhere they go, they work with local youth string musicians in a workshop, instilling values of leadership and creativity. These young kids then play music with them during their performances. Their show is brilliant and their message is one of empowerment and innovation. I was blessed to share this experience with my mom on her birthday and some very dear friends. If you haven’t seen them live, you should, it will be well worth your time. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Pedestrians Designed for Walking

I love taking original photos and then using tools in Photoshop to create what I refer to as a form of Digital Impressionism. Especially when they are taken in urban settings which include the pictures in this post.

I took the first shot at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which inspires wonder through the power of art.

The topic today is Pedestrian as in designed for walking, or walkers, which are the definitions I am using for this week’s post.
The second picture I took downtown Minneapolis during the first snow. In the distance, you can see two pedestrian footbridges of many, which connect 80 full city blocks and over 11 miles.  They are part of what many who work downtown enjoy, especially during snow or rain. It is also great for those who travel and stay in Minneapolis. Both the picture and today’s topic got me thinking of the different ways and reasons we walk.

 

We walk to visit people, to go shopping, to meetings and to see art
Sometimes we walk to clear our minds which often helps us find a fresh perspective
When working in urban settings, people take lunch to get out of the office, to talk, to watch or to be pedestrians
Walking is a great tool when we want to be alone with our thoughts and to think through processes
It also can be known as great cardio, depending on the pace of your gait
When was the last time you went on a walk for the sole purpose of walking, even if you didn’t want to?
Do you remember how good you felt when it was done?
If you do, please share. Perhaps leaving your comments below will motivate someone else to step out on faith.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Waiting and Getting to the Point

I’m sitting here letting my fingers mindlessly hit the keys to help me think through the topic of this post and the accompanying photo. It may take a while to get to the point, which oddly enough, usually comes at just the right time, even when it doesn’t feel like it. We can’t quite articulate when it happens because it can leave us feeling stuck, which is never fun.

The red traffic light reflecting on the street due to rain indicates we are WAITING for something. Regardless of what we wait for, we hope the value is received (tangible or intangible) in exchange for the wait.  With the increased use of technology, we have data at our fingertips while we do some of the waiting, and it doesn’t hurt that our society is obsessed with the need to look busy. And there are different kinds of waiting depending on our mission. In the city, we wait in traffic, for elevators, in line for coffee or a meal, for a bus or a train to arrive. Another kind of waiting is when we over-complicate deciding to decide to take action on something.

Other times we may wait on more significant things to occur which we could not have predicted such as a phone call, an answer, a revelation, truth, running into or reaching out to the right person at the perfect time. Somewhere lingering, we know this waiting will validate all of the hard work we have invested because we acquired and used tools that have taught us along the way. Something just around the corner is going to come to fruition.

And after the waiting is done, we will look back and realize that it has been part of a larger plan that has needed to unfold in its own time. All we had to do is trust the process and keep pushing forward to the best of our ability.

So since we can’t always “rush” waiting, it is up to us to decide how we use our time. Waiting has a purpose, even when we hate it. It teaches us patience, reminds us of our perseverance and makes us grateful for faith in ourselves and others.

Thanks for visiting my blog, if you enjoyed this post, feel free to leave a comment below or share it with others. Have a great week!

Perspective Around Corners

What kinds of images and emotions do corners evoke in you? They come in many shapes, sizes and with different meanings. Some of us have our own secret little corner of the world, a special place that brings peace and serenity when we think about it.

As children, we played Kings in the Corner with our grandparents. And it was there we learned that we can actually laugh and win something when we play games with other wise people, no matter how old they are.

Some kids have a designated time-out corner where they hate to go. Until later in life when they realize it was a coping mechanism that taught them the significance of stepping out or away when things feel chaotic and disorderly.

Some students may think about their study corners which could be at kitchen tables, in coffee shops or libraries.

For those who are curious explorers, a corner is an adventure just ahead of us that we can’t wait to go around and discover what is next.

To artists or architects, corners are a series of vertical lines that give texture, come together, or expand out; a room, a street, a literal or rhetorical place.

Some might argue corners are something we are backed into, as in feeling cornered with nowhere to go. Other times, corners take us around bends that result in self-reflection, letting go, learning, change, and growth.

Corners also represent places we can emerge out of or go around.  The truth is, corners have many meanings. They give us choices in more ways than we can imagine because we live in a world full of endless possibilities. Mysteries and Miracles.

Thanks for visiting my blog – can you think of other meanings about corners? Please leave a comment below. and if you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with others.  This post was inspired by the weekly photo challenge: Corners – share a photo that plays on any of the word’s many meanings.

Unusual? or Not? You Decide: Weekly Photo Challenge

Last week the theme for the weekly photo challenge was “Unusual.” I got around to posting this theme with “unusually” late timing, but that’s okay, I’m posting it anyway. 🙂 This photo consists of brightly colored balloons at a parade. I used the “Ocean Ripple” filter effect in Photoshop to create something I think looks delightful.

I love words. The ability to choose one, think about what it means and the different ways it gets used. With this week’s theme, it occurred to me that, often, what seems unusual to one person, could be perfectly normal to someone else.

That is how it is meant to be because even in the flaws, there is detail and beauty we often overlook. Think about a world where everyone, openly and unconditionally accepted the unusual in others. How often do we intentionally seek to understand another perspective without judgment? How often do we encourage others to do the same?

Years ago I had a friend who said he believed he finally found the answer to defining ‘normal.’  “Normal is the setting on your dryer,” he would say.

Exactly…..

Something to think about.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others. Have a great week and thanks for reading my blog. Feel free to leave a thought, question or note below.

 

 

Expressing a Reflective Shine

This week over at the Daily Post, Nancy Thanki begins by asking: “Have you ever walked past something bright that caught your eye, but when you turn around, there’s seemingly nothing there?” The theme for this Photo Challenge is Shine.” This past week, I was blessed to share another very special sunset with my family. Nancy’s post caused me to reflect, and realize that sometimes the shine we walk past without shine-in-moments-with-familynoticing, is present moments spent with those we love.

The phrase; “be where you are” is a simple reminder that one of the greatest treasures we can give others and ourselves, is the grace of being fully present together. “Be where you are;” is an expression worth repeating in writing, out loud, in prayer and meditation, to ourselves and others. We live in a culture of instant gratification. It is easy to get caught up in believing we have to be constantly moving, thinking or talking. Give yourself permission to be immersed in silence. It is okay to slow down, just roll with it and see where it takes you.

Nancy ends her post by asking “Has the sunshine or any other light source caused you to stop because it’s highlighting something you didn’t notice before?”  As I look back at this photo, I’m grateful for that moment, the people in my life and this moment.

How about you? What is your shine? Let’s keep this conversation going, if you enjoyed it, share it with others. Please leave a comment or thought below and thank you for visiting my blog.

Look Up: What Was Entrusted To You? Pay Attention

Philando Castile The System Is Broken
This blog post was inspired by “The Weekly Photo Challenge
Look up and see those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you, the sheep of which you boasted?” -Jeremiah 3.2
A Prayer and a Poem for #PhilandoCastile & Family

Look up and notice

with open minds and open hearts
Put yourself in the shoes of an opposing view
Pay attention and listen to those sharing their reality
They have something to say. Their experiences are real.
Their voices matter. They are suffering in despair
They deserve to feel heard. To be heard.

Are you listening?

Because when someone says “I am hurting
The only appropriate response is; “Tell me more, I am listening
Be patient; consider that the first story may not be the whole picture
Be open to new information, in a world full of endless possibilities
These things together will expand minds, hearts and our world

Look up and look around

We continue to see repeated patterns we know exist
Minimizing them torments our intelligence
The idea “if we don’t name it, it can’t exist” is excruciating denial
Inaction leaves us feeling stuck in perpetual wait
What are these patterns trying to tell us?
They are saying that idly standing by is no longer enough
They are directing us to take a stand and to do something
They are making it clear that we have so much more to learn from one another
When different views come together, they merge to create new knowledge, and that is a good thing. I have never known a time when we didn’t need ideas to continue to evolve

Entrust: to give someone the responsibility of doing something or of caring for someone or something  (Merriam-Webster)

  • Police officers are given the responsibility of protecting people, property and the law
  • Humanity is given the responsibility of being kind and compassionate to one another

Look Up2Lookup:  Today, Philando Castile, who was killed last week in Minnesota by a police officer, will be laid to rest.

Castile is not the first and sadly, will not be the last. The greater good in society happens as we work towards coming together and leaving our differences behind.

Pray for these families, because they are our families. Our families are hurting.

Pray for parents of young black men and women, who are faced with presenting a complex yet balanced view about systemic injustice, because the dialogue can be confusing for many. May they be given the words to adequately conduct constructive discourse in a loving manner so that it leads all of us towards the right solution, together. It is time to set our differences aside because we owe it to ourselves, and one another.

I want to hear from you. Thank you for visiting my blog, please feel free to leave a comment below, or, if you prefer to ask some questions confidentially, let me know and I will be happy to respect your privacy and respond one to one.

Sparkles, S’mores and Land that I Love | Happy 4th of July

Smores Fourth of July NostalgiaI love the Fourth of July (or Fourch of Guly as I said when I was little), it makes me feel a bit nostalgic. One of my first 4th of July parades I remember being sad because I wasn’t fast enough at getting candy and I’m sure there were one or two thoughtful kids & parents who saw that and walked over to make sure I had some. Then there was the first parade I was in with my sister where we both wore costumes and tap shoes from dance lessons. My mom told us to march holding our batons with one hand lifting them straight up and down with each step and of course, we thought it was a great idea.

As we grew older, we were blessed enough to spend the first two weeks of July up north with my dad and dear friends at Crane Lake in Voyageurs National Park on the Canadian Border. The only way to get to the cabin was by boat. Imagine hauling 3-5 adults, 5-7 kids and a dog, 2 weeks worth of food, clothing and fresh water for drinking. Sometimes it would take 2-3 trips and the boat would be so heavy the waterline was about a foot below the top. While we did have a short wave radio to hear the closest weather reports and listen to the international time, we did not have phones or television and we actually learned to appreciate that.

It was there we explored the chain of lakes where water is so clear you can look 15+ feet straight down and see the bottom. We learned how to water ski, responsibly shoot guns at targets, become great fishers and use a filet knife to clean and prepare our catch. At night, my dad would bring Crane Lakeout his guitar and we sang songs together around the fire, roasted marshmallows for S’mores and later hear the cracking and snapping of the fresh burning wood. Some evenings we would go out “on the rock” and enjoy the sunset, seen in the picture to the right. I would close my eyes and take in the fresh smell of the Norway Pine trees and burning fire. I would listen to the water lapping up on the shore, loons, seagulls or a boat humming in the distance. It was heaven on earth.

After fourth of July celebrations in the small town across the water, we would take the boat to the middle of the lake, cut the engine, watch the fireworks and have rich conversations about freedom, life or whatever was on our minds. It was there we discovered breathtaking views where stars are so clear you could see them sparkle right down to the horizon. In a good year, we could see the northern lights dance, displaying colors of green, blue and red.

I’m grateful for the people and all of those memories we created together. It shaped me in growing a deeper appreciation for this land where we live. Today, I think about so many people around the world who don’t have the same choices we do. At the same time,  we can not forget those who have gone before us and those still fighting for our freedom because they have laid much of the groundwork for us.

I also will not forget that there is still more work that needs to be done.

Regardless, I celebrate the fact that we are so fortunate to be citizens in a country where we have the freedom to express ourselves, choose to practice our faith, celebrate diversity, practice servant leadership,  be educated and to make a difference in the lives of others.

Wishing you a very happy Fourth of July. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences about how this day has shaped you. Please share below and thanks for visiting my blog!

“I AM” and “SPIRIT” In Sync With One Another #FierceForward

Fierce Forward - I AM and Spirit = Parters

I AM – two of the most powerful words you could ever declare to yourself. This is your declaration, your choice to stand in your power and allow your vision to come to reality/ #FierceForward

SPIRIT – Your truth. Freedom is found when you live your truth and let your spirit live out loud. Do not hide. Do not deny your truth. Do not let her stay quiet. Go forward, fiercely and let your SPIRIT lead the way. #FierceForward

Knowing who we are and being grounded in our truth are at the core of what teaches us to be great leaders and even better human beings.

These bracelets are handmade using African Trade Beads to support women in Africa. They are special because they support a worthy cause and they were an authentic gift from someone whose friendship means a great deal to me.

This post is inspired by The Weekly Photo Challenge themed: Partners: Whether two of a kind or ten, give us subjects that are in sync with one another – show us partnerships.

Learn more about #FierceForward at fierceforwardforlife.com

Remembering Prince in Minneapolis ★ My Story

Before I turned on any media today I got in the car, my heart sunk and the words popped in my head; “Prince is Dead……… OMG, I just can’t believe it.” As a home-grown Minnesotan, whose stomping grounds used to be downtown Minneapolis, the reality left me feeling empty, then I turned on the radio to find every-singFirst_Ave_Remembering_Prince_Minneapolisle-station playing his music and talking about him. Later, I return home and turned on the

TV to see the “Let’s Go Crazy” song from the movie Purple Rain and BOOM, I briefly see myself on National TV.

In 1983 my friend Holly and I went to a casting call to try out for Purple Rain as extras. The line was long, they took our pictures and information. After a few months, it was
out of sight, out of mind.

Then the call came one evening in November somewhere between 10-11
:30 P.M. asking if we could be downtown by 5:30 A.M. “Um……YES!” (No hesitation whatsoever.) So the next morning we arrived, exhausted because of the time spent freaking out about what to wear, how to fix our hair, getting our makeup just right, etc. We stood around much of the day at First Avenue between scene takes and Prince’s wardrobe changes. I chatted with his body-guard Big Chick (Some called him Jake). He was more than 6 1/2 feet tall with white hair and he had a long beard. He could have been mistaken as a biker one might see as part of the Hell’s Angel club. Despite his intimidating appearance, he always took the time to chat when we saw him. Remembering Prince In Minneapolis - My Story

Back then in Minneapolis it was not unusual to run into Prince out on the town, bodyguards in tow, or to see him hop into or emerge from a cool sports car with a beautiful woman, or
even attend impromptu concerts at First Avenue, The Fine Line, Glam Slam (later called “The Quest” nightclub.) He rarely spoke to anyone. Minnesotans respected his privacy and for the most part, knew not to approach him, unless, of course, we were feeling mischievous, like one night when I was with my cousin, Stacey, who had recently moved to Minneapolis from Omaha Nebraska. After a few cocktails, I triple-dog-double-dared her to try to talk to him (knowing what would happen). Of course, she did, and he didn’t speak. Yes, I set her up and to this day we still laugh about it. But I digress.

Between takes and wardrobe changes, movie directors passed out free packs of cigarettes, telling everyone to smoke up the bar. We were front and center stage as he sang Let’s Get Crazy, Baby I’m a Star, I Would Die 4 U, Little Red Corvette, The Beautiful Ones, etc. Looking back now, it is so great to have such an intimate connection to that moment in history. Sometimes I hear the music and think; “wow, I was really, literally right there” it is kind of surreal. Feeling reflective, I went online today and watched those performances again and found myself in other crowd scene shots I hadn’t seen before. Technology sure has made it easier to find these kinds of things. Imagine trying to find information using fast-forward and rewind on VHS tapes. 😏

In 1984, Prince performed here on Christmas Eve and I went with my sisters, The Purple Skyline of Downtown Minneapolisit was my youngest sister’s first concert ever. My grandpa had rented out a YMCA that night for a family celebration, so we headed there after the show. I remember hearing someone say; “What kind of person has a concert on Christmas Eve?” followed by a sarcastic; “What kind people attend a concert on Christmas Eve?” 

Prince was a die-hard, born and raised Minnesotan. Looking back, now, if I were to put myself in his shoes, of course it makes sense. This is and always has been his home, he wanted to celebrate with his people, who he loved – us.

We listened to Prince and The Time (Now called The Original 7ven) before it was “C-O-O-L” to listen to them. Was that because we were all from Minneapolis? Most likely – it was the Minneapolis sound, keeping us front and center. 

Prince was a brilliant, creative, compassionate talented artist and fellow community member who cared about humanity. He profoundly changed the landscape of music and it will never be the same because of him. I’m grateful for the memories the old songs bring; smiles. friendships, laughter, tears, flirting, after parties, connection, dancing and more.

Prince’s untimely death is a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves when we are ill and that in this world obsessed with the glorification of “busy-ness,” life is short. In the distraction, we forget to slow down and pay attention to this moment.

Today my prayer is that more of us figure out how to “be here now,” fully present for others in fellowship and as servant leaders. May we discover all that comes along with remembering to be mindful and grateful for how blessed we are.

Do you have any thoughts or memories related that you would like to share?

If so, please leave a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Enterprise Change Management w Organizational Agility as Strategy

I recently met Tim Creasey, who facilitated two days worth of advanced change management certification workshops, a change summit and round table discussions for The Minnesota Change Management Kakie Fitzsimmons and Tim Creasey during Prosci Advanced change management workshopNetwork. We had rich discussions about the past, present and future of Enterprise Change Management and Organizational Agility as a strategy.

On the first day, an executive breakfast was held at Target Corporation where Tim broke down change management as a capability into four eras that included pre-1990’s, 1990’s, 2000’s and 2012 and beyond. He then went on to discuss the topic of Organizational Agility as a Strategic Imperative. He presented different definitions of agility, along with the many pillars various enterprises use to build agility in institutions along with the diverse ways they think about what it means to be agile. A huge take away was a shared concept of thinking about agility as a state of being.

One good question that Tim asked was “How many projects in your organizations’ impact just one area?” Of course, the response from the crowd was laughter and then our small groups led to rich discussions about complexity that encompasses market volatility, increased amounts of information and communication, varying levels of leadership commitment, how are changes triggered, launched and funded, different ways change is governed and whether it is integrated into an organizations governance structure, we talked about ways to find the pockets of support that can exist in organizations, change and project methodologies, maturity and application of change and project management, deciphering and translating how different leaders are interpreting what the same change means for them.

In Enterprise Change Management, we integrate change into projects, programs and across releases, which means there are three very important words to take in context when working to obtain executive buy-in.

  1. Context_Gap_between_what_Project_&_Change_Management_DeliverContext – the way we have a conversation about change management should be relevant to that person, so when we tell a story it must be in a context that matters to them. This is why it is essential to have the ear and attention of executive sponsors early in the process because how they are processing what the change means is critical to the way we will work with them. It is easy to say that we focus on the people side of change, but that means different things to a lot of people. Employee engagement? Morale? Training? Communication? While all of those factors may be important to senior leaders, it will mean more when we stay focused on their desired outcomes that demonstrate what we deliver, how we will integrate change to ensure it is sustainable so realization of benefits will add value to the organization. ROI, results, etc. All of this context is important because according to Prosci’s annual benchmarking research on change, the greatest overall contributor to project success is active and visible sponsorship.
  2. Language – How we talk about change and how we tell the story of change management matters, so we need to make it a point to understand the language used in the organization. Many will agree that using too much “change management terminology,” (academic or otherwise), or throwing change curves in front of people results in that look where eyes are suddenly glossed over and we have lost them.
  3. Problems – It is essential to have clarity in understanding the problem they are trying to solve because if we are there, it isn’t that they don’t have change management. What is their expected return on the initiatives? The killer questions of what the Return on Investment (ROI) % will depend on how to change behaviors are adopted by people in ways that will make it sustainable.

Monitoring and measuring people change and organizational change are different, so it is imperative we create sponsor road maps and use them as guides to remind sponsors, steering committees and our change networks how to scan the environment, maintain awareness of who takes action during each project phase. These road maps also will be a coaching to for how to identify, address and correct resistance. They will lay out tools to build individual competencies for Executives, Senior Leaders, Middle Managers, and Supervisors as well as Front-Line employees. It is critical to pair that with ensuring consistent messaging, from the right sources at the right time.

Standing in the Future.”

Tim asked to imagine that three years from now we have been identified as the most change competent organizations in our industry. In small groups, we wrote and shared short descriptions of what we would see if we walked around in our environments at that time and the descriptions were positioned as “We statements.”

Some of the comments I heard when we shared as a larger group included the following

  1. We have a change management capability in and across organizations
  2. We have change and project management capabilities that are mature and aligned
  3. We value creativity and innovation as part of the change management capability
  4. We have dedicated change resources and change management curricula that lead to career paths
  5. We create our own future and are empowered to make decisions and innovate
  6. We know how to help leaders position the change in ways that get all people impacted by the changes excited because they understand what is in it for them
  7. We partner with sponsors and steering committees as a unified team to drive the change
  8.  We have transparency where people have permission to speak with candor without fear of retribution
  9. We have robust data about feedback to people and performance
  10. We are using common language
  11. We have increased adoption and minimal resistance to change
  12. We celebrate success

It was a great session and a pleasure to meet Tim and his team. We look forward to having him visit again!

Tim Creasey is Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci and he has played a key role in developing extensive research, methodology and capturing best practices as the lead analyst for many of the Prosci benchmarking studies.  Tim is a dynamic international speaker and thought leader on the topic of change management. He is also the author of “Change Management: The People Side of Change.”

Do you have additional “We” statements you would add? Please leave any thoughts or comments below and thanks for visiting my blog!

Forming the Basis for Revolutionary Change in Organizations

Many of our traditional business system models have evolved out of the industrial age and are no longer relevant. As a result, we need to adjust paradigms towards a new way of thinking. We will refer to this new thought process as the “emerging mindset“.

Today’s businesses are in a constant state of flux, adjusting in ways that entail combinations of reacting to unplanned fires blended with strategic planning. The external economic atmosphere is changing so fast that often, internal environments are unable to keep up, making organizations complex and more vulnerable than ever. Our world has seen the intense progression in technology as of late, pushing us into a mode of hyper-connectivity, creating new open global capital market economies and new business models, impacting internal and external environmental factors in organizations. As a result, many businesses that were in place five or even ten years ago have ceased to exist. Many organizational cultures are in the midst of punctuated equilibrium we refer to as Revolutionary Change as they attempt to seek the right amount of stability. 

The emerging mindset will need to constantly scan what is happening on the outside, monitor the expectations of behavior complexity, maintain alignment of strategic direction and plan how to begin the momentum in ways that get everyone participating and excited about a new vision for the future. The new mindset will need to continue asking what can be done differently and whether anything is being missed. The consequences of not doing so have far-reaching implications. 

Factors Involved in Revolutionary Change

Revolutionary change happens when something shakes an organization, presenting a clear need for a major overhaul, which will change the culture because the enterprise will never be the same again. Revolutionary and constant, accelerating change is not the same thing because accelerating change evolves. (Hence the term, evolutionary change). Revolutionary change is not linear or constant. It is chaos that disturbs the organization and leads to the reshaping of its culture. Examples could include an unforeseen crisis, a merger or acquisition, new leadership comes in and changes business models and structure of organizations change, which may involve the process of forming a new vision and mission.

The emerging mindset would view revolutionary change as an opportunity for all people impacted by the change to provide input so they feel they are part of the process and are building a future together.  The way the change is led will set the tone inside and outside of organizations. When entities shift, it takes place in a context that surrounds human capital, which means the ways people respond in different environments are not predictable and how individuals interact individually and collectively will vary. It will be essential to observe social systems across many groups with varied norms. Radical change will introduce a broad array of issues that include managing resistance and emotions. The emerging mindset needs to keep in mind that employees have their own external factors they bring to work with them every day. Some of these issues could involve financial challenges, family conflict, supporting young children, caring for aging parents, striving to find the appropriate work-life balance, and more.

Table 1 Systems affecting employee powerSystems affect employee power[i] because human capital has a broad array of needs and wants. (See table 1). Enterprises consist of one or many social systems with established rituals and decision-making processes. The executive intellect will establish the climate for all of the relationships that go in, out and through the organization and feedback will come from it. That creates a framework and is an ecosystem by itself.

Revolutionary change presents opportunities to re-evaluate effectiveness and configuration within an organization’s deep structure of each division as well as the human capital that adds the most value. The talented emerging mindset realizes this is the time to capitalize on that and build social bridges by understanding who are the connectors, mavens or salespeople.[ii]

The emerging mindset will determine how to respond through the constant tension across technology, operations, and sales.

Strategies to prevent negative entropy will be a factor. How will the company entice, inspire and maintain talent to include a broader definition that is a blend of five areas that combine compensation, benefits, work-life balance, performance and recognition along with development and career potential?[iii] How these issues are addressed and presented to members in the enterprise will set the tone for employee morale, attitudes, and momentum towards the vision. Communication must remain open, linking to organizational structure and culture while understanding that at the center is the emerging mindset, its capabilities, and abilities. It will be important to pay attention to that context, not ignoring frustrations and encourage mentor, mentee relationships because organizational change is not a linear process. (p282)

Forces Interact to Impact Open Systems

The emerging mindset personality, how they are perceived, how they receive information, interact with others and communicate change will establish how those in the organization will be impacted and adjust. Revolutionary change begins with considering the system as a whole and examining each individual part. When something in an organization changes such as processes, policies, procedure or structure, a few parts will evolve and others will eventually be affected. It is imperative the emerging mindset know how to position and communicate revolutionary change. Planning for radical change requires mapping out thoughtful messaging by understanding how the past is affecting the present and what the future will look like. It creates a story and will help all in the organization to have context for the vision.

Emerging mindsets will understand the inputs, outputs, and feedback that will come by scanning the social and political landscape to deepen relationships by understanding what is important to employees in ways that are authentic, and lead with that. While rewards may be one component of revolutionary change, an article by Luthans and Stajkovic demonstrates reinforcing behavior for results is more successful than pay for performance[iv].   The emerging mindset can leverage this information to take swift action, then develop and point workers in the direction of the vision. Empowering workers to make good business decisions will help them feel more creative and part of the solution. When this occurs the result is more involvement and increased commitment.  As employees go through change, leader behavior will be observed as well, so being centered and doing self-examination by paying attention to one’s own emotional intelligence and moral compass because they will play an important role.

The goal and vision must be clear, direction understood and messaging consistently repeated.  Announcements, communications, and series of events should create a sense of urgency and be thoughtfully introduced with a tone of optimism that can get employees excited. Forming strong advisory coalitions for each division in an organization with subject matter experts will demonstrate a sense of order and that the work is already underway. If resources feel they have input towards the intended outcome and are part of the solution, buy-in could occur with minimal disruption. The response will also tend to be favorable if there is a way to celebrate, create rituals, establish norms and provide enterprise-wide sensitivity or change management seminars facilitated by a 3rd party. Bringing people together from different areas creates open source opportunities where ideas merge and new knowledge is formed.

Governance, departments, groups, and individuals have power. Systems interact with their atmosphere, but the process of organizational change originates and winds up in the hands of the external environment. A system’s ability to thrive and survive is dependent on it.

Next: The Emerging Mindset – Revolutionary Change

Do you have thoughts, questions or comments about this kind of change? Please leave a comment below and thanks for visiting my blog!

[i] Luthans, F., & Stajkovic, A. D. (May 01, 1999). Reinforce for Performance: The Need to Go beyond Pay and Even Rewards. The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005), 13, 2, 49-57.

[ii] Gladwell, M. (2000). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown.

[iii] Forrester, R. (August 01, 2000). Empowerment: Rejuvenating a Potent Idea. The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005), 14, 3, 67-80.

[iv] World at Work: Total Rewards Model. pp. 1-8. 2008. World at Work, (8 pages).

The Emerging Mindset – Revolutionary Change

The purpose of this post is to explain the four cornerstones of an emerging mindset that would form the basis for determining a revolutionary change in an organization.[i] We define the term “emerging mindset”  as a series of assumptions held by collective intelligence in an organization that embraces new ways of thinking. The emerging mindset has four cornerstones which include

CONSCIOUSNESS IS CAUSATIVE: Emotional and social dynamics are part of organizations and when change is introduced, this lens becomes more pronounced. Leadership must set the tone focusing on communication strategy and messaging with a sense of urgency that is optimistic and gets people excited about opportunities. The way change will be planned, introduced and positioned is critical and this process should include explaining the following:

  • What needs to change
  • Why it needs to change and the impacts to people
  • Address anxiety with transparency and enthusiasm
  • Paint a clear picture of what the outcome will look like
  • How results will tie to rewards

ABUNDANCE: This is where energy, inputs, throughputs and outputs are constant and required in order for the organization to remain sustainable. Often, this activity is a good tool to reassure employees that extensive planning has taken place to ensure the company has the resources to carry out the change successfully.

RELATIONSHIP AND WHOLENESS: This takes into consideration that the system has moving parts within it, all of which are interrelated, making up more than the sum of the parts.

CONTINUOUS PROCESS: All of the forces, progression and processes are constant

Industrial and Emerging Mindset Comparicson Revolutionary ChangeBurke explains revolutionary change as an unexpected event or activity which makes it clear a new mission, vision and strategy of a business are imminent. This accelerated change could be a form of punctuated equilibrium, which occurs between long periods of the being in steady state and requires a call to action in order for the enterprise to survive. Examples of revolutionary change might include a spin-off, merger, acquisition or significant alteration in the organization’s products or services. It could also be the result of an economic episode similar to the events of 09/11 or the market downturn of 2008.

My next blog post will discuss details about forming the basis for revolutionary change and how emerging mindset influences interact to impact open systems.

Do you have thoughts, questions or input? Please leave a comment below and thanks for visiting my blog!

[i] Burke, W. W. (2008). Organization change: Theory and practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

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