I work indirectly in the organisational transformation business. I help with the adoption of new technologies. This often drives a need for change.
Ideally I see it being done because a group of forward thinking individuals have realised the need for change. Perhaps they see there are better ways of achieving outcomes than in the past. They take the initiative and are naturally inspired to drive the change and are encouraged by the organisation to do so.
They form a groundswell of activities that drive the change and show others the need for it and how to embrace it.
Sometimes, but not often, the movement comes from the top, from executives. More frequently the movement starts underground.
Unfortunately, either of the above scenarios are still in the minority.
What often happens is that companies are forced to change. I wrote about that here: Innovation is the why, change is the how.
Either through crisis forced by a competitive landscape or lack of innovation, their hand is forced. The change needs to be forced through, like mince being fed through a sausage machine.
Hopes and Dreams
What happens to employees hopes and dreams is that they are forced to play second fiddle to necessity. People get that business comes first and without it there are no jobs so they are often happy to toe the line.
Passion, enthusiasm and engagement are the things that are compromised though. Especially when the motive is not so clear and a change is forced through without a well intentioned and explained “Why”.
Hopes and dreams suffer and they are the magic potion of great transformation efforts.
They are what inspire creativity. People come alive when their aspirations are fuelled by a heady mix of purpose and newness.
People love to embrace the new when they see a good reason for it and it aligns well to the work they do and how they do it.
Moreover, when they are given rope to indulge their hopes and dreams organisations are more likely to harness collective effort, engagement and passion for a successful transformation.
Business success imitates art in this sense, as Leonardo da Vinci put it:
“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”Leanardo da Vinci
Imagination, innovation, creativity and spirit are given flight when our hopes and dreams are engaged.
And these are key differentiators, especially in a post robotic AI age where the role of creativity and innovation reign supreme.
This is also the route to passionate workers who are more productive than merely engaged workers.