As we enter the new year full of positive enthusiasm for what might be – or trepidation of those events which may unfold at an economic level – we are only able to control one thing. How we respond to events. This is true for every individual. We cannot control external events, world politics, tragedy, death or the day to day uncertainty of business. But the one thing we CAN control is how we decide to respond to the ups and downs and ever-changing speed at which the world evolves – these are called our working habits.
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit’.
Changing habits is a popular and growing field of personal development. Equipping individuals whether leaders or new team members with the skills to better adapt to changing environments and conditions can deliver huge benefits. At a company level, this equates to the collective ability to change and adapt – which in turn dictates culture and the cultural norms of an organisation.
How To Change Our Working Habits?
Neuroscience and the NeuroLeadership Institute shows that an increased focus on this area brings tangible performance benefits. If you foster an environment where failure is a lesson, you earn or you learn, where ideas are shared openly and feedback is fostered from all directions and used to drive improvements – then you drive true cultural change. An open, honest environment where everyone is respected will create a far more driven, positive and engaged culture than one where people are scared to say what could really work better.
As with personal change its all about daily habits. You need to identify those which serve you – and perhaps those that don’t. As humans we seek the security and certainty that comes with the familiar, if we can translate this into the workspace and apply the principles of personal change to corporate change – the results will be clear to see.
Think about what could be done differently consistently and daily to affect a different outcome. Focus on the solutions rather than the problems and ensure that acceptable and desired behaviours are encouraged and reinforced. Oftentimes people will tolerate people who create a negative desired effect internally as they ‘do a good job’, perhaps this should be reviewed as part of the performance to encourage the right behaviours and to set the intention and tone for all members of staff.
Any programme of transformation or change requires focus not only on the technological enhancements and subsequent process redesign, but most importantly on the impact that changing working practices has on the people. Understand this and communicate well and improvement programmes will be greatly improved!