#TChat Recap: Creating Positive Organizational Change That Matters

Creating Positive Organizational Change That Matters

In our final #TChat Topic of the year, we had a really awesome discussion about the importance of creating positive organizational change that matters. Change is something we all need to get used to in these social times, if we haven’t already. When it comes to the World of Work, organizational change is something that take a lot of persistence to learn how to embrace and make it a part of your business and culture goals. But to do so, you have to accept change so we can begin building a culture that’s constantly being impacted positively by its decisions. This is much easier said than it is done. This week, our community was joined by: Patti Johnson, CEO of PeopleResults, a change and human capital consulting firm. Patti understands all too well what it takes to make positive changes that matter, based on her research and her real world experience.

It’s important to realize that creating organizational change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes understanding that there are some important variables at play. It starts by understanding there is no room for ego and it also:

Sure, sometimes “me” is a good thing. In the World of Work, too much of the brand “me” can be toxic. Great company culture is built around collaboration, because trust exists amongst the people who make it work. Thinking more with a “What’s in it for us?” mindset creates a greater possibility of accomplishing great things together. Work should be about social collaboration and embracing creativity, so that innovation can take place. But the truth is:

Creating change is a team effort. Leave the nonsense behind that can crush organizational change before it even begins. Employees have to know that change is taking place for the greater good of everyone, not just a few beneficiaries that get to reap all the rewards. It’s about making a better workplace for employees through collaboration and trust. And we must learn how to keep change from falling apart by discovering how to measure what works and what doesn’t.

Learn to measure organizational change by going straight to the source, which is employees. Who else better than employees to explain what’s working and what isn’t? To keep the fire going, we have to monitor it and keep it going ourselves. When it comes to work, it means holding each other accountable for creating and keeping positive change burning.

Creating positive change at work goes beyond any bottom-line, it’s about creating a place where people are excited to be a part of it. A happy worker makes for a more productive one, which means employee engagement is alive and well. Some folks measure success through happiness. Shouldn’t the same idea apply in the World of Work? It’s worth taking the risk to change something that’s broken or needs fine-tuning. Being quick on our feet is what we must all become accustomed to in the ever-changing business world. Not being able to change with it leaves us susceptible to being left behind. Creating positive organizational change that matters starts with baby steps and forward thinking. It’s worth the effort!

What #TChat-ters Had To Say About Organizational Change

What’s Up Next? #TChat Comes Back Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015!

TChatRadio_logo_020813-300x300#TChat Radio Kicks Off at 7pm ET / 4pm PT — Our weekly live broadcast runs 30 minutes. Usually, #TChat-ters listen in and engage with our Twitter community.

#TChat Twitter Kicks Off at 7:30pm ET/ 4:30pm PT — Our Social Hour midpoint begins and ends with our highly engaging 30 minute chat. We’ll take a deep social dive into our weekly topic by asking 3 questions. So join in on the fun and share your brain power with us during #TChat.

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How To Help Top Talent Thrive

Written by Mona Berberich

Back in college economics class, I discovered a common assumption about economies of scale — actually about returns to scale. In business, we assume that if we increase factors of input by a given amount, the output will increase by that much or more. This concept seems intuitive, and we rely on it to simplify the management process and maximize profits.

Recently however, while researching how companies treat their top talent, I’ve found that many organizations apply this “returns to scale” theory to their most valuable asset — their smartest, most creative people. In other words, leaders often think that, by doubling the number people with creative abilities, the organization will be at least twice as creative. But if innovation is the goal, this theory isn’t sufficient.

Finding More Of The Right Stuff

What really matters in this equation? It’s ultimately about organizational culture. When managers create an environment that inspires the brightest and most talented people to thrive to their fullest potential, that’s when business performance increases proportionately (or more).

That said, to foster a scalable creative culture, it’s important to understand the smartest and most creative among us. What motivates the top 2 to 5% of the workforce with genius in software design, molecular engineering, and other areas of specialized expertise? Better knowledge of this will lead to a more supportive environment for top talent.

Portrait Of An Innovation Star

I’m not saying that clever people are all alike, but they do follow similar paths and tend to share multiple characteristics. For example, unlike most of us, top contributors know what they’re worth. In today’s more mobile, global world, they have more opportunities. They know their value, and they expect employers to know it, too.

They also tend to share a single defining characteristic — they don’t want to be “managed.” This requirement can be quite a challenge for business leaders. Very talented individuals often are adept at accomplishing great things on their own. They tend to have no special bond with their employer, but they know how to behave to gain funding and support. On the other hand, they’re aware that their employer relies upon them. They generate the ideas that no one else brings to the table, and often they go the extra mile to breathe life into their vision.

Often high flyers demand organizational protection and ignore corporate hierarchy. Quite frankly, they despise titles and promotions, at least in the way that most people perceive those business conventions. Being part of an organization chart is often a thorn in their side. Meetings tend to be seen as waste of time — a by-product of bureaucracy. Bottom line: They prefer immunity from organizational activities because administration is what keeps them from doing what really matters — creating change.

The smartest people often have unconventional expectations. They’re likely to assume managers don’t understand what they are doing, but they want respect for what they do. They want managers to recognize their ideas, and reward them with access to corporate leadership, information and resources. They want freedom to explore new territory, and permission to fail, because failure ultimately can lead to better outcomes. The fact is, they tend not to speak the same language as others in an organization, and often they don’t even want a public voice in the organization’s discussions. What to do? Here are several suggestions…

How Can Your Culture Support Extraordinary Creativity?

1) Be a Guardian

The most talented contributors don’t need a boss, they need a guardian — a sponsor who opens doors on their behalf. Focus on helping to facilitate their work. Give them appropriate guidelines, but eliminate rigid rules.

2) Offer Praise

Create company-wide visibility and demonstrate appreciation by showcasing your rockstars’ projects at company meetings, and in other internal communications. In addition, provide opportunities for them to meet informally with senior leadership. For example, organize lunch with your CEO or top executives (but don’t force rockstars to wear business suits).

3) Grant Operational Immunity

Exempt your top performers from unnecessary meetings and departmental administrative activities. Streamline monitoring and reporting mechanisms, and minimize structural and procedural requirements. Above all, encourage trial and error. Be prepared to recognize failure (or even celebrate it) as an integral part of learning and progress.

4) Provide Freedom to Explore

Encourage your brightest stars to use 20% of their time to drive independent projects. Grant leave of absence for professional development or participation in industry conferences. Consider providing discretionary budgets to fund exploration and ideation — whatever may sparks fresh thinking. For example, a user experience designer might expand his frame-of-reference by operating as a “visiting fellow” at multiple leading-edge customer sites. Or a biotech product developer might “connect the dots” by creating a private virtual forum where life science incubators can share insights about basic research projects.

5) Acknowledge Achievement Beyond The Organization

Rather than evaluating rockstars on typical performance criteria, consider their role in the industry at-large. Perhaps replace classic one-over-one performance appraisals with peer-to-peer evaluations. And consider metrics based on industry awards and rankings, progress in securing patents, volume and quality of articles published or presented, and other indicators of innovation leadership.

How Do You Encourage Top Talent to Thrive?

Do you have extraordinary people in your organization who need to be led in a special way? What have you done to accommodate them? What kind of issues and results have you seen? Please comment — we’re interested in your thoughts!

Mona Berberich2(Editor’s Note: Mona Berberich is a Digital Marketing Manager at Better Weekdays, a Chicago-based company that has developed a platform to help HR leaders source, screen and develop talent based on job compatibility. She is a researcher and writer covering HR, career growth, talent management and leadership development. Contact Mona on Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter.)


Image Credit: Pixabay