As much as I try to heed my own advice in my personal life, the reality is that I’m terrible at it.
Let’s say, for example, that someone roughly my height and age was in the middle of a home renovation during one of the busiest stretches of the year. Perhaps this gray-haired stranger didn’t think the renovation was going to be that big of a deal, and like many of us working outside of our expertise, he failed to ask the right questions and assumed way too much.
In having the exterior of my house painted and some stucco applied, I thought, “I’m inside, they’re outside, we all know our boundaries in the scheme of things!” And if you’ve been through this type of thing before, you know exactly how shortsighted that was: Constant banging, interruptions to open windows and doors, a mosquito buffet on my arms and legs, and dogs who were pretty sure that this was the end of days. And if this is just the exterior, what’s going to happen when the work begins inside?!?
My utter lack of realistic expectations is reminiscent of the naivete in so many organizations embarking on their transformation journey. Not unlike my belief that the work to be done could be compartmentalized from my day-to-day work, transformation leaders often assume they can minimize interruption through good project planning or weekly email updates. The reality is at some point, transformation is going to become noticeable and, in many cases, intentionally disruptive.
Sometimes the best way out is through, and that means acknowledging that the transformation work will result in short-term inconvenience in the service of long-term benefits. Before any transformation, it’s incredibly helpful to sit down and really map out who will be impacted, when, and how. If you’ve never embarked on that particular flavor of transformation, ask others so you’re not shocked to be interrupted by the cacophony of change outside of your metaphorical window. This will put you in a much better position to mitigate the frustration of your internal customers and helps build credibility with the business. Your ability to absorb the unexpected increases exponentially when you are well-prepared.
In hindsight, I should have known that any renovation brings disruption and adjusted accordingly, even if that adjustment is just a reality check. And when all else fails, I can keep the ideal end-state of a remodeled home in my mind to keep me going. The good news is that there is always an opportunity to change course and make the rest of the process run more smoothly, a reality in life and business alike.
On an unrelated note, has anyone seen my refrigerator?
With warm regards,
— Mark Stelzner
Founder/Managing Principal/Renovation Neophyte, IA
Voice of HR
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Where You Can Find Us
If you’ve always wanted to catch us out in the wild, here’s your chance! We’re honored to have been invited to participate in the following upcoming events:
October 10-13, 2023: You know we love an HR Tech Conference – and IA will be there in force. We hope to see you there, and join our own Mark Stelzner and Kimberly Carroll for their fun and engaging mega session, What is your HR Tech ‘Credit score?’: Tech Debt and the Art of ROI. And Mary Faulkner will be hosting a round table, ChatHRT: Change Management, with lively discussion around what does, and doesn’t, work when navigating change in your organization.
April 24-26, 2024: Get ready to ignite positive change in your organization with innovative and transformative ways to positively influence your people strategies that go beyond best practices at the new Human Resource Executive® Conference: Elevate People, Ignite Change 2024 or EPIC 2024! Visit the web site to learn more about this new conference and to register today!
On Our Radar
With so much going on in the world of work, we have been looking for some of the more interesting articles out there to share. Here is just a sampling:
If you’re looking for a sign that a fixed mindset can be limiting, this story from Inc. might be it. Intelligence isn’t about your personality – it’s about how you DO things.
Those of us who travel may find this article from USA Today equal parts triggering and polarizing. After all, the topic of line cutters at the airport can evoke some pretty strong emotions!
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