Thursday, April 23, 2015

Assertively Brand Visionary Opportunities

One of my favourite work games used to be bulls**t bingo – of course I grew up somewhere along the way, and now am more likely to be authoring the card than winning the game. If you haven’t had opportunity to play, the rules are actually quite simple. Prior to starting your next business meeting (or training class!), simply provide folks with a bingo card that is filled with typical business buzz words. Include a mix of adverbs, adjectives, nouns, and verbs to make it interesting and as you hear the typical corporate cr*p rolling off your managers’ tongues, secretly mark your cards, until someone gets ‘bingo’ – although traditionally that is not the word that is shouted.

I’ve even found a site now that allows you to plug in your phrase and automatically generate the corporate version of your favourite buzz term – ‘transformational change’ resulted in the title of my article this week, for example. Catchy.

Frankly, it is amazing how much of the corporate lexicon is focused on change, identifying the need for change, driving change, managing change, communicating change, and coping with change. We are obsessed with change. It’s as if we’ve created this necessity about the word, and even more mystique about the solutions that are needed to allow us to navigate it. To this I say ‘bingo’. The reality is that nothing should be as natural for us as dealing with change.

Imagine for a moment a day where absolutely nothing changed from the day prior. You woke up at exactly the same time and the weather was just as it was the day before (I do miss you London!), you commuted to work on public transportation only to find the exact same people in your subway car as the day prior, you arrived at your desk (at precisely the same time as the day prior), where you were confronted by the exact same emails and issues as the day before (ok, that happens I know). Your co-workers spoke about the same exact thing as before, and were wearing the exact same clothes. Your lunch order came out exactly as the day before, and your meeting schedule wasn’t altered one iota. You distracted yourself with the exact same television programs as the night prior, before falling asleep at the exact same time. If life were without change, we would certainly need a bit more than training… we’d need counselling.

So why is change so hard?  As humans we are constantly ‘seeking’ change in life. A better house, a better job, better furniture, a better car…sometimes even a better partner. Is it really better? Or is it just… different? So why don’t we all automatically seek this same change in our jobs?

It is true that change is necessary for business growth and agility. But it’s not true that we need so much sophistication around equipping our teams to handle it. It should just come naturally.

We are built for change, so let’s just get on with it. What’s your vision, what do you want to accomplish? Assertively brand it and go for it…whatever it is, it will be better than the alternative – stagnation.