NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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Leading Change to Create The Future of Work

September 29, 2018

Change management is one of those things that everyone is living and doing and its a word that has almost become redundant. Who isn’t dealing with change on a personal and professional level? However to get to the future of work it requires everyone on board towards leading change to create the future of work.

There are a few ways to look at change and leading change to create the future of work – we can be afraid of change, we can resist change and we can welcome and adapt. Eventually everyone will adapt AND there is a way to become more agile and flexible.

Firstly on the change cycle its perfectly normal and human to be afraid – it takes courage for a person to admit that he or she is afraid in the first place. In today’s workplace having a culture where its safe to admit being afraid is what is ideal. When it comes to workplace change we can be afraid of losing our identity with a work shift, we can be afraid of looking foolish for not knowing new technology and we can be afraid ultimately of losing our job.

As a future of work imperative we all need to be able to identify our fears and then logically take steps to take control of the unknowns in order to be able to both adapt quickly and ultimately to be a leader of change for our teams. For example I have a CEO client who for the past few years the focus was on trouble shooting and solving ongoing problems. In the past year since all of the major problems were solved she felt that maybe her time as CEO was over. She was afraid that she didn’t have what it took to successfully navigate the next phase of building the business which was to shift her focus to empowering her people and investing more time in coaching. Additionally she was afraid that she wouldn’t be as good at leading this next phase as she was at leading the first phase. The CEO decided to take control of what she could control – she hired a coach (me) , she began to look at what the next goals were for her and her team and she began to take action to coach and guide her team to be even more effective. In the past few months she has been mostly invigorated – the change of strategic focus she made caused her to grow, learn and adapt and she felt more excited about her role as CEO than she had in a long time.

When we resist change its because we do not trust the change or we are uncertain that we can successfully navigate the changes. The human response to ‘push back’ is a defence mechanism against change. In this phase of change we need to first identify what or who we are resisting and why. Once we identify our source of resistance we can then shift our behaviour towards a ‘learning approach’. This means that we see every person or situation as an opportunity to learn something. When we have a ‘learn’ mindset we build the resilience to reframe our defence response into a ‘how can we create’ a solution response.

When we welcome and adapt to change that is when we become ‘change leaders’. Leading change to the future is not something that only ‘leaders with titles’ can do – in the future of work everyone is a leader in that we all influence each other regardless of title. So how to do we lead change to create the future?

It starts with ourselves we build a change leader mindset where we focus primarily on what we can learn and share. Secondly we paint a picture of the future and that picture is clear, compelling and inspiring for others to connect to and relate to. Thirdly we provide the actions, the steps and the outcomes clearly and visually for our teams so that they know exactly where we are going, whats going to happen when we get there and how we know that we are track along the way.