Do you take accountability for change?
Or, when change happens, do you look to other people?
I’ve been inspired to write this post after seeing a film on my recent journey home.
In one scene, close to the end of the film, I noticed a quote inscribed on the back of the lead character’s wrist watch: Challenge, Contribute and Change.
For some, this fleeting scene may well have gone unnoticed. It’s not as if it played a significant part in the plot.
Yet it made me pause and make note.
Why, you may ask?
Well, that day I had been facilitating a workshop where this quote would have been very relevant.
The group I’d been working with that day had been going through an important change, one that impacted the way they would be asked to work in the future.
As these changes were implemented, jobs were lost and continued to be under threat in an aim to reduce costs.
Not a pleasant time for anyone.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been little or no challenge from those going through this transition and there is a growing sense that people can’t or won’t contribute to shaping, what is, their own future.
With an average tenure of around fifteen years, the experience of working in a certain way, with the same colleagues and in the same place, has simply got in the way of them taking ownership for the changes.
Of course, this is not unusual as when times are tough, change is inevitable. For if you keep doing the same thing, then you will keep getting the same results.
It’s at these very times of change that people need to step up to the mark – often the direct opposite of what actually happens.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.Wayne Dyer
For people often retreat and fall below the line, abdicating responsibility to an amorphous body called ‘the organisation’, something they have created and actually doesn’t exist – or at least not in these terms.
Try it out. Next time you hear someone say “it’s the organisation“, ask them who IS this organisation?
As, by definition, an organisation is a nominalisation of the verb: to organise. Simply put, it’s a bunch of people organising themselves around a purpose or task.
Of course, on the flip side to all this, managers who may be viewed as ‘the organisation’ will often take on too much responsibility to rescue the work force from the ravages of change. A real paradox whilst appearing to be the villain of the piece by the very people they wish to save!
There are examples of this happening daily on the news, where Karpman’s drama triangle is being played out before our eyes, with each role of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer being condoned, supported and maintained.
Call to Action
It’s time to step up…to Challenge, Contribute and Change.
To recognise that you are the organisation you work in, and you need to take responsibility for yourself.
It’s the only way forward, the more likely way to succeed together!