Have an expert involved, who is not involved.
Beginning is relatively easy. There is often no shortage of ideas within organisations or of participants to get the ball rolling. Neither is there anything to measure by, so any change is change. Much like needing to lose a lot of weight, you can get results by doing something instead of nothing. Beginnings are graced with energy, a zest for results that make it hard not to feel enthused. But what happens to the race once the proposition got out of the starting blocks? Who makes the connection from starting to success? Too few projects have the road planned sensibly, with necessary follow-up and measurements of results. A constant evaluating of the process that was set in motion, combined with the courage to steer and re-steer. To have an outsider on board for this is the most crucial element.
For years I have been the outsider in (change) processes, the trouble-shooter. I didn’t know then how much of an advantageous position this would be. The not fitting in has always been a theme in my life, but I have learned to appreciate it as a position of strength. For years I lived and worked in the UK, but was always seen (and maybe capitalised on it too) as the “one from another country”. I worked in companies over Europe as the bilingual person, who understood multi-cultural aspects, as I didn’t belong to a side, a team, a leadership. I preferred to be the one with a foot in and out. Contracted to work on behalf of the company and doing my best for a project to succeed, but on the periphery enough to be able to speak plain English, with the Dutch straightness my clients were used to. In doing so, I became the conduit, the connection between the start and the end result. By keeping people on track, going back to the goals set out, measuring what really happened and not what was said happened, by steering and re-steering.
People by nature take up position. Starters, finishers, do-ers, thinkers, leaders, followers, positive, negative… everyone needs an opinion on any matter. I have made a business out of finding comfort on sitting on the dividing line, having a clear perspective and asking questions without judgement. When projects gather momentum and everyone is still very much on board, it needs a person to keep an eye on the long distance run. When a project gets on its way, it needs that outsider to check and re-check that everything is still on course to bring a project to a successful conclusion.
Much gets made of change management. It’s a buzzword that most organisations need to be engaged in; keep up and adapt or get left behind. Change isn’t new, it’s inevitable and often poorly executed resulting in teams divided and companies half transitioned. A trouble-shooter change-expert can say what she sees and in doing so re-direct the movement. A conduit is the in-between, the protective factor to ensure change succeeds.
Are you ready to reinvent, re-shape, innovate and transition your life, your career, your business?