Swim. Because there is no sink.

As Heather MacArthur explained in her excellent article, change is a constant now. Organizations rarely complete one transformation before launching another – oftentimes, they are taking place simultaneously and we would be thankful if there is any level of coordination (planning, or the practical day to day impacts) between and across these transformational efforts. It’s literally sink or swim, and we don’t want any casualties.

In the past, we needed permission to do things differently to embrace change. Now we need to be the role models that make the change that we want to see in the world, without worrying about the consequences, because the change is critical, overdue, and essential for survival. Those who lead the change – regardless of their level within the organization – will be those who remain afloat.

Being agile in mindset and behavior will serve each of us well in our career (and in life, though that’s an entirely different post). And, when things become difficult at work, doing something that might be counterintuitive to our survival spirit – being generous and helping others first – is likely to help us be more successful, and for longer. Our research around leading with generosity proves this time and time again, and we have thousands of examples of people getting back much more than they give as a result of doing small acts of kindness without any expectation of a return.

In what people call the future organizations – honestly, they are already here – success will be/is a function of one’s ability to plan, iterate, flex, and demonstrate results even when everything around us appears to be in a state of confusing flux. We partner with teams globally in the agile space, in experiences that we call Agile: Value In Action (AVIA). Through our years of research, we’ve identified the best mindsets, behaviors, and high-return practices in the right mix of theory, practice, and results orientation to help any team – regardless of starting point – to deliver greater value, in shorter timescales, and be more joyful in the process. Yes, it’s ok to want to be happy at work, and it’s ok to communicate that you want that, too.

One final thought while we are swimming in the proverbial ocean of change; instead of fighting the change and trying to get back to the norms of the beach upon which you had set up your shop, take a more agile interpretation of what is happening and think about what the change could offer you if you decided instead to ride the waves. Our work in facilitating and coaching behavior change with individuals, teams, and in organizations across the world proves that making lemonade out lemons when the tide turns can be the very best approach for you personally and professionally.

Rob Whitfield

Rob Whitfield


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If you’re interested in learning how to engage the people in your organization who have the power to transform your results, send us a message and we’ll set up a call with you.