Episode 21 – Change Thinking

Most organizations have large and complex change management strategies to navigate the necessary innovations and challenges in today’s world. But, none of that matters much if individuals don’t work on their own thinking. Let’s start talking about looking at our own brain each time we have an opportunity to make a decision. I’ll share just one example in this episode and plan to delve into this topic more as we journey through finding our best work together.

Episode 21 Show Notes

Episode 21 Show Script

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 21 Change Thinking this’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Over the last couple of years, I was responsible for bleeding and managing part of a large learning management system implementation and I say, leading in managing very loosely because our department really had this responsibility. But part of the responsibilities as we got into the project kind of shifted over to the I T department, and so we found ourselves in a constant wrestle on who had the authority to do what and where. It makes sense to take the lead on something where it made sense to let go of that leadership and allow someone else to do it, whether or not you agreed with the approach or not. And of course, this translates into Day today our by our moment by moment decision making, because your heart and mind is involved, your job has certain responsibilities. People have certain expectations of your position. On every step of the way is a check and balance on yourself. If you choose to do that now, I would venture to guess that most the time many of us get into a zombie mode or a very mechanical mode and forget that we have a chance to choose how we respond and react to every moment when there’s change taking place and our lives are in the organizations were working for. And this is tough. This is really tough at times because we have to be thinking straight in order to make the right choices in each situation. And if we gear up for every situation as a battle to fight, it’s exhausting. And so we learned how to choose three to navigate the culture, the politics, certain people, what outcomes we think will happen with certain decisions. And in our case, it had to do a technology and business processes and standards and responsibilities that could ultimately change with a different system with a different way of doing business. And so I’ve talked about this in many other interviews over the last few years, when people asked how we went about our system implementation because we went live early now. Part of that was because it was mandated. We go early if we wanted to keep the system because we’re part of a broader government structure and broader government politics and expectations and changes that were taking place. But we did it. We did it with all of our stakeholders. We did it to help all of the students that came to our organization. But there’s always a price to getting out the door quickly. And anyone who knows basic project management knows this right. There’s cost, schedule performance and you get to pick two. You never do to be great at all. Three. You get to be great at two and more often than not great. It may be one of those, and so he stayed within cost in time. But that also means that there’s going to be a problem with the performance. And in our case, that meant you go live knowing that some things are going to not work correctly or not goingto work the way they did in the past, or that the way that people might think is best. And then you end up working through all of those issues as they come in through the help desks than when you determine that these air business process re engineering efforts that are worth the time to dig into and find another way and resolve these particular issues or gaps for customers. And so what I really found interesting along the way is how often I had to do this check and balance on myself. Some days I could get away with only doing it once other days. It was an hour by hour or minute by minute endeavor because it required me to really look at my own thinking of my own brain and ask myself questions. So as an example, let’s say we’re in one of our meetings where we were determining how to meet a business need and in the system before we might have been able to track a particular piece of information, and we find out in the new system we can’t track it, or at least we can’t track it in that way. So there’s people that roll up their sleeves and they look at the system ago. Is there any other way we could possibly track this information and that’s a really good approach, isn’t it to say how can we meet that particular need Another option that could be discussed in the same meeting is we track that before. Why worry tracking it? What were we doing with that information? What is the rial need behind that information? If we can really get down to the root reason that we need that information, it may open up the door for even more possibilities of looking at the system and saying, Are there other ways to meet the rial underlying need? In that same discussion, there may be someone sitting there saying to themselves, Air out loud It is imperative that we have this information. We need to collect it in the same way. And if the system doesn’t do it, we need to find another system that can integrate with it so that we can accomplish this goal or meet this need. And so as everyone comes to a discussion about the same item, some are going to want to keep it the same as much as possible because that’s the way it was. That’s the way it should be. We need to find a way to move forward, no matter how many systems or tools we have to use to do it. Let’s do it there, others that are going to step back and say, Wait a second. What were we really trying to accomplish with that? If we can remember the reason we can ask ourselves that that’s still a reason. Or if we have different reasons now and if we have a different reason, Is there a different approach we can use? Or should we still seek the same approach to meet that? And there are still others that say, Let’s just blow this out of the water. What are we doing here? What are we really doing here? And maybe this is time to just completely start over from scratch and think, Why are we collecting this information at all? What are we gonna do with it? Let’s just think of a whole different possibility of what we could be seeking. And all of this is happening. And each discussion you have in an organization and this could be happening at a personal level is well in outside of work situations. And to realize that for one hour you could be the person that says No, this is important. We should have this in the next hour. You could be in another meeting where you are now, the person that’s like Let’s look at this Greenfield blue sky What are the possibilities? And then the third hour you could be the person saying, Let’s integrate all these systems together. I don’t care what happens. Let’s make it work and we’re all over the place with our brains And so I wanted to take time. Thio talk about these moments when we are part of decision making and allowing ourselves a moment where we reflect within ourselves and take time to think about our brain and say OK, we’re talking about a change to something right here and we often put this under change management, organizational change, organizational behavior. But really, it all comes down to one person and that person’s mind and each of us have one. I hope, and each of us use it in both positive and negative ways, for ourselves and for others. And in those moments where we find ourselves resisting change, it’s a great time to stop for a moment and say, Okay, why am I resisting this change? Is it because I don’t want to change something about myself? Is it because I perceived that this change will hurt me. Will it affect my job? Well, my job go away. Will I not be as important as I used to be if I don’t have it the way it currently is? Or am I resisting because I don’t think others will buy into the idea or that I don’t think it’s good for the organization or I don’t think the organization can handle the change? Or that I don’t think that we will actually be able Thio meet that particular goal. Or what if we have strong feelings because we’ve already thought a lot about it and we think No, I believe this is the right way and that’s a very real possibility. The point isn’t what is right or wrong in that situation. The point is is that we take time to stop and be sincerely reflective, honest with ourselves and go, why am I resisting this change? And when we do that, it makes it a lot easier to fight certain battles. I know there are many times in this system implementation project where I could even be in the middle of fighting for something and then I would stop, you know, wait a second. I am fighting this based upon an old assumption or because I perceive this as losing a responsibility or based upon a business model. That may not be what our goal is anymore. And at that point I’d have to stop and say, Okay, let’s revisit the whole reason we’re doing this because maybe we’re off on our reason. Maybe the organization no longer wants to pump through tons of students. Maybe the organization wants to create more value for fewer students. And what is a way we can provide more value instead of the constant churn and trying to create a CZ many products as possible, getting really clear on a few simple, really great products that will help meet their needs, help them perform better, help them understand their work more and not just pumping out certificates or pumping out more reasons for people to say. Look, I took all these courses, Yeah, but you don’t know what you’re doing. Still, so what good were the courses? And so some of these things are a constant revisiting in our minds, and I know that as we practice this on a regular basis as we stop and take a look at how we’re thinking what we’re thinking about, that we can start offering more value. We can offer more insights from a place of last judgment. We can offer it from a place of more honesty with ourselves and others, and it’s very freeing and I will share that while I was in this large system implementation with so many lessons learned and I’m not gonna share those all here. But I made the decision during that project that I was going to do my best while that implementation occurred and that I needed to move on after it. Regardless of all the great things I learned in all the hard experiences that were involved that I need to move on, that I had a different role, that I needed to go to going forward and because I had made that decision, I was freed up immensely to share more thoughts and insights and opinions and to think through things because I was not protecting my job. I had already decided I was going to give my job up and when you come from a place of saying I am going to be giving up this job. There’s a freedom that comes because you can see things clearly or more clearly than you had before. Because you’re not protecting yourself. You’re not protecting your reputation as much and you’re not protecting your position. You are wanting to strive to do what is best for the team, what is best for the organization, what is best for the students, that will be accessing the system and when you know that you can walk any day from a job, not because you’re independently wealthy, not because you have a certain number of years toward retirement and not because you’ve hit the pinnacle of success somehow, but because you’ve made a choice to act independently of the security of your position. This is a very freeing place to operate from, and this all comes from are thinking because when we think a certain way we have feelings and we act from our feelings and so it’s very important to take those moments to stop and see how we’re thinking and check ourselves, and this is a very time consuming process at times and then other times you have pure brilliance flow into you when you stop and think and go. Wait a second. Why am I having that thought? I’m gonna be okay. What’s best for the organization is this. It just so happens it’s what’s best for the organization doesn’t work for me. Oh, well, I’m still going to recommend it because it’s the best thing for the organization, and the organization is paying me to think clearly when I would venture to guess that most people listening to this podcast are hardworking people that are paid to think you’re not paid to show up in occupy space. If you are, let me know I’d be very interested in knowing what’s based. That is, you’re occupying and if they’re paying you more than 10 or 15 bucks an hour to do it because you are paid to use your brain and when your brain is overwhelmed and worried about being secure, worried about paying bills, worried about relationships, worried about politics, your brain is not able to offer up its best work, you’re not gonna able to move your desk or anyone else’s. And I’m saying this from a place of having to do a lot of brain work in the past few years and especially right now, because as I’ve made so many changes in life, there’s been new obstacles that have appeared that I have not wanted to deal with and not wanted to experience. And yet it’s part of my experience. And how do I know that? Because it’s happened. So I get to experience it, and some days I choose not to work on my brain and just sit in certain emotions and do administer via and other days. I tell my brain we got some work to do today and we’re going to do it somehow some way and the brain complies because it follows thes directions. We have to give ourselves direction sometimes. And so it’s wonderful to know that we have complete control over this because who best to address our thoughts than ourselves and take control of that and two bit really be at the helm? And there will be many more podcasts about brain work. But I wanted to share this today to show that part of change management a huge part of change management is just working on our thoughts, and I had so many opportunities to do this when they’re five or six meetings a day walking into every meeting and sometimes moving forward to fight a battle and realizing it was the wrong one, sometimes moving forward to fight a battle because I knew is the right one and I’d keep at it even when I had low energy. I like No, no, this has to be worked through another time, sitting back and realizing this is not for me to fight. This has to happen. Maybe someone supposed to learn something in it. Maybe allowing these choices to be made will help the organization see that Wow, we have another 800 help. Best tickets we didn’t have before because of that decision. Maybe we need to revisit that decision and that happens so many times where advice was given or recommendations. It wasn’t followed, and then things had to be changed back because everyone is at a different point of dealing with their thinking. And when we rush it and we expect things quickly, we have to understand that there’s always trade offs and process. There’s always going to be risks. There’s always going to be real issues. There’s always going to be these things that happen because everyone’s doing the best they can in the moment, and some people are coming from a place of really taking a hard look at their thoughts and their brain every time they’re making these decisions with team members or others, and there’s others that aren’t doing that at all. And it becomes very clear over time who’s protecting their self interest, who’s protecting their positions, who’s protecting their politics and their political partners and who’s constantly working on their thinking. As you all know, you will have lots of thoughts today. You hear it in all kinds of media now how we have 90,000, 130,000 thoughts a day and most of those air subconscious. But as we take control of that prefrontal cortex and start thinking about our thinking and wondering about it and being curious about what’s going on in our brains, we can start to manage that better, and we’ll start to see changes in our lives and we’ll be able to move our desks and as a warning, as you do that there will be more challenges that arise and there will be more things you unearth in yourself that you don’t want to deal with. But That’s part of the journey, my friends. So keep at it. Keep using your brain. Keep questioning your own brain. Keep looking at yourself, especially when you see that you are resisting change and organizations in a project in something at home something online and ask yourself, Why am I resisting this change? What’s going on in my mind? And the answer will be different every time whether to pursue or to let go, or to think about something just a little differently. Bright ideas will come, creativity will increase, and the capacity to have control over thoughts will expand. Have a great day and keep thinking Thank you for listening to another episode of the move. Your best show. If you enjoyed listening, I would love if you would take the time to give a five star review and share the podcast with friends that are seeking to find and do their best work

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