You knocked your night lamp off the bedside table, now it’s in eight pieces. Assuming you want or need a night lamp, you have two choices:
Buy a new night lamp
Collect the eight fragments and create a plan to fix it
In the event of such a trivial and highly accessible object, most of us would buy a new one.
Why? Because it’s far more resource-efficient. A night lamp can be found for under $10 while creating a plan and purchasing the tools to fix it would cost us more in money and time.
Organizations throw away slightly fractured night lamps daily. What such companies overlook is that the broken night lamps they throw away are connected to other night lamps within a collective structure responsible for the overall light they produce.
A company's night lamps are the people, and those night lamps have a unique adapter, which when integrated with the other night lamps, bring an incredible night light.
This article explores the process of identifying the necessary tools to drive human-centered change in the direction of a clearly defined goal.
Finding The Problematic Area: What Is Broken?
Collective systems can work more efficiently than their individual parts, provided that the frequently occurring conflicts and inefficiencies are addressed. Larger companies pay for higher returns by taking more risk in several areas. This automatically creates room for new obstacles.
When upper management and executives create plans for change, we often see a growth-oriented mindset, though they often lack depth considering the complexity of the vision and goals.
Major plans for change tend to be formulated in times of resource-scarcity around workflows that worked well prior. Workflows that have molded and bound together over years of hard, smart work among the individual employees.
Unless the problematic area of strategy and execution can be identified and narrowed down to individual leaders on all levels, the collective plan for change is bound to do more damage than good.
How Do We Find The Problem?
To find a hitherto unseen problem is to place our existing frame of thinking aside. To leave the brain-box we padded with silk-covered cushions and a concierge that refuses entry to anything unfitting.
Then, we’re ready to observe. As an observer, we take an impartial role in a matter that otherwise means something to us, in this case, a company project. This impartiality is unseen in most large organizations due to the mounting pressure and restrictions faced by those in charge -- hence the growing need for external expertise to come on-board.
We all go through waves of love and hate with our work, which is a beautiful representation of the fluctuating identification with the creation itself. For example, once the painter steps back and observes as a spectator rather than the creator, an entirely new set of relationships within the observed work becomes clear. This sparks a need for change in the painting itself.
Once the “problem-zone” in an organization’s human architecture is recognized, analyzed, thus understood, a new set of problems surface to clarity and a plan is ready to draft.
Resource-Friendly Tools To Drive Human-Centered Change
What makes a tool resource-friendly? Well, if the tool is already available with little-to-no extra cost and requires no outrageous work hours from a valuable workforce to operate, it’s efficient.
These tools are to drive human-centered change. In most cases, to create a better flow of information between people and teams. No spanners or allen keys, unless your employees are droids.
Provided that the planning authorities have had the necessary impartial insight, internal or external, the tools to integrate into an effective change strategy are ready to explore.
These tools may come as a surprise since they’re already within the problem.
Assisting Communication: Delegation & Reflection With Smart Technologies
In 2020, it’s safe to say that any organization with a digital presence has access to some sort of project management tool. As much as I despise the word “project management”, that’s what the tools are called.
The problem isn’t with the tool itself, but how it’s used.
SaaS applications like Asana (used by the likes of Uber, AirBnb, and notably by smaller remote teams) are jam-packed with features designed to drive and encourage collaboration between teams and individuals, yet we don’t use them effectively.
Asana gets comfortable on our bookmark bar and functions as an unnecessarily complex calendar with elegantly engineered collaborative features that are dying to be used.
So, the first tool to drive human-centered change is technology that makes communication and collaboration simpler.
See our article that covers the goal-feedback-action-diagnosis (GFAD) dynamic.
The Leadership Ripple Wave: Create Leaders Through Existing Leaders
Just because someone is in a position of leadership, it doesn’t make them a leader. Creative autonomy is an essential quality of a leader, which many ‘leaders’ haven’t ever exercised.
That said, every company has real creatively autonomous leaders. The trick is to find them. Often, the organization’s practices restrict leaders to act to their full potential. To identify and integrate the creative autonomy of leaders across various levels of the company, there needs to be dialogue.
The communication with such characters is a problem-identification tool in itself -- direct feedback from individuals on why they haven’t been able to deliver to their full potential. All teams win since management is forced to take on-board and impartially observe without personal investment in the issue.
Unlike a leader’s creative-autonomous mindset, the leadership ripple in itself is not autonomous and requires constant awareness of where individual empowerment is lacking due to infantile communication, among several other subsidiary factors.
Summary: Step-By-Step To Find And Address Organizational Flaws
In summary, we must:
Identify the problem area
Pause, step back and disidentify from the area to allow an impartial mindset to ferment
Analyze the obstacles
Consider the most resource-friendly tools available, in order to...
...formulate an executable strategy to reach goals
Then, do it all over again. That’s if you want your company to innovate, adapt, and succeed.