The trouble with change & how we can help

I’ve recently been training a lot of teams within organisations who are on the journey to becoming ‘digital first’.

Traditional ways of working are being replaced or developed into new digital methods and it’s crucial that the new skills required to embed these, are properly managed.

But with change comes resistance.

To get to grips with these new approaches, it is crucial that people get the right coaching, tailored to their needs. If they don’t, their abilities, confidence and happiness are all at stake.

Take today, for example…

I’ve been training a large non-profit on how to work with online influencers. This is becoming increasingly important since ‘earned’ media spaces are becoming increasingly influential over those which are ‘paid’ (e.g. ads) or ‘owned’ (e.g. websites).

Traditionally, the PR team work with journalists. The thing is, online influencer relations requires a very different approach, a new way of thinking and a completely different set of skills.

Those who have been in the industry for years, in the same organisation for years and been doing the same job for years… do not always welcome the idea, that they need to do all this new stuff alongside their regular job, with open arms.

It is perfectly normal for people to fear the unknown.

What could help?

Senior leaders need to step in and start modeling the right behaviours.

It is the leaders of these organisations who need to encourage change and promote these new ways of working.

Perhaps what stops them is the idea that they’ll be losing control. It’s a popular concern with social media because it is about people as individuals – faceless brands are no longer resonating with consumers because of it.

The opportunities of social are vast and it’s rare that an organisation, especially a large one, can really grasp them when being risk adverse is in their DNA.

Take some of the UK’s largest and most complex organisations as an example. They have teams dedicated to risk – teams of people who get paid to look for risks associated to tasks. I wonder, in these organisations, how they can move forward at all.

To become truly social, innovative and to grow as a result, an organisation must embrace these new approaches, these risks, this change. It’s these organisations who take the risk and replace ‘fear of the unknown’ with ‘curiosity’ that really strive. (If you want some examples of orgs that do do this well, this book is heaving with them).

The key take-out:

Senior leaders, CEO’s need to step up.

But we can also help.

We need to celebrate and reward those who do it well – those leaders who are not stifled by short-term profits, but are driven by the longevity of the business, the consumer and the wider society.

That’s why things like the WorldBlu list and news stories like this are incredibly important – because it gives a platform for those who are doing it right to lead the way.

We need to embrace change. I need to embrace change.