Category Archives: change management

Digital Technology, Are You on Board?

fiberopticsI have been coming across some interesting statistics lately that I thought I would share. With the pace of change continuously accelerating and the amount of new technical information doubling every two years it is becoming nearly impossible to keep up.  In an interview with CNN US author and digital game creator Mark Prensky suggests, “Any slowdown in the digital age is a “myth,” as innovation will only press forward “faster… and faster and faster.” He told CNN: “We are not going through a transition to another phase of stability, and that is the key point. People will always be behind now and that will be a stress they have to cope with.”

In 2013 internet access from mobile devices will officially surpass access from personal computers with 5 out of 6 people in the world owning a mobile communications device. What is even more astounding is that they look at 100,000,000 YouTube video’s on those devices every day! Google has been my yellow pages for some time now (see blog post Digital Technology for Marketing & Accounting) which has me concerned for the 30% of Canadian businesses that do not have a web site to show up in those searches, especially considering as of last month over 51% of Canadian’s now shop online. This is a trend that is only going to increase as more people realize the benefits of finding exactly what they are looking for regardless of where in the world it is made. Now this begs the question have you embraced digital technology yet and if not, why not?

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/

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Committing to the Outcome

A few weeks ago we talked about change management (Do You Resist Change?) and how people needed control in order to stop resisting the change. In a famous experiment where people were either given a lottery number or given the opportunity to choose their own lottery number it was determined that the value of choosing their own number was in fact 5 times more. Once again giving people control but this time putting a value on it. The conclusion from the study was: When we choose for ourselves, we are far more committed to the outcome – by a factor of five to one.

An article in the Harvard Business Review by Scott Keller called ‘Increase Your Team’s Motivation Five-Fold’ gives some great examples where companies have used this human trait to create a sustainable vision for change for their companies. What are you trying to change? Perhaps using this approach will make it that much easier.

I have often heard that working remotely – away from the office causes people to be more productive. Well there is new research in and it suggests that this is not always the case. Apparently when the task depends on creativity, productivity goes up in a less structured environment but the reverse is also true. So next time you need to accomplish some real creative stuff set yourself up in a really cool environment but to get those routine mind numbing tasks done better stay at the office.

I came across a blog post by Swift To-Do List that I thought was interesting. The blog called ‘5 Counter-Intuitive Productivity Tips’ gives tips that make use of those laws behind the way we work. The first tip: Make sure your work is left unfinished is based on the Ziegarnik effect (see The Value of Focus). Another tip: Work less to get more done, is based on the studies that suggest humans work best in blocks of time and that you need to take a break in between those periods of focused work. I enjoyed the article and I encourage you to check it out for the rest of the tips.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/.

Do You Resist Change?

Today I want to talk about change because if we want to become more productive or if we want others to be more productive, then often that requires some kind of change. I have continuously been told people don’t like change. They resist it. Don’t get me wrong I am sure there is evidence to support this. However there is also evidence to the contrary. Just look around people are making major changes every day; changing jobs, moving, having a family, learning new technology, developing new skills. Not all of those changes are easy but most of the time people actively seek out those changes. That doesn’t sound like resistance to me. So what is the problem? Well according to Peter Bregman, in his blog for the Harvard Business Review, the problem is we assume people resist change so we do all kinds of things to counter that resistance. But in reality people don’t resist change they resist being controlled. Now that should be an Aha moment!

This would be why 70% of all the major changes corporations try to make fail. If you want to find out more try following this link to an article by the Harvard Business Review on a classic called ‘Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail’ by John Kotter.

So how do you get around people’s resistance? According to Peter give them control. Much easier said than done but Peter also gives a bit of guidance in the form of three steps on how to do this along with an analogy that makes perfect sense to me. Basically you need to be more outcome focused and while you can suggest a route to get that outcome, you also need to be open to different routes as long as the outcome is satisfied.

Do you sneak in a nap during the day? Well according to this article in the Gulf Today a short snooze not going beyond 10 minutes increases productivity, improves intelligence and maintains emotional stability. The article goes on to suggest that a mid-day nap is not only accepted in many cultures but some go as far as to set up a special room to allow workers to have a siesta. Mmm  I wonder if you would have trouble getting people to buy into that change.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/.

Changing for Productivity

The New Year is here and many of us start out by trying to implement changes in ourselves and our environment. Let’s say you have found a new way of doing things that is much more productive and you want everyone else in the organization to implement this method. Not near as easy as it sounds according to an IndustryWeek.com newsletter; there are far more failures than successes when companies try to implement lean manufacturing. I believe this can easily translate to any new more productive method of doing things. The newsletter goes on to suggest that most of those failures are the result of the absence of sound change management strategies and skills.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard it said ‘people don’t like change’ but it has been my observation that change is often welcomed by the people who initiate it. Think about that for a minute. I know I have no problem implementing a new way of doing things if it is my idea. There is a lesson in that. Where ever possible those that are directly involved in doing the task need the freedom to determine how to do it better and then within certain parameters implement the change themselves.

Alas it isn’t always that simple or that easy. For those times when change is dictated thank goodness there is a process that can be followed to minimize the negative impact. For those of us that need to lead that change management there are a ton of resources on the internet. As a starting point you might want to check out this ‘Change and Innovation Template’.  Based on the Morgan Buying Facilitation Method, it is a series of facilitative questions designed specifically to help begin the process of change and innovative decision making.

I attended a workshop on change management a while ago put on by a local company, Synergy Workforce Development. I found the workshop quite useful because it identified 6 predictable stages of concern that people go through when presented with organizational change. Understanding these concerns allows you to develop a clear process for managing them. For more information you might want to check out the Synergy White Paper on Change.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/