I am currently working on a change which really isn’t changing anything. We are exerting a lot of effort in replacing a current platform for capturing customer transactions. It is a system change but:
- No change is required to behaviours.
- There’s no real change required to the transactions that we do
- The customers that we’re dealing with
Effectively we are replacing like for like, but to do this, there is a lot of work on top of demanding day jobs. Everyone is getting tired, they are snapping at each other, there is an increasing level of disengagement as people stop making effort, leaving a handful of people to do the work across multiple teams.
Do not invent benefits!
This is a common situation, and I have learnt that there is no point in trying to “sell” the change as an amazing opportunity to realise lots of benefits because it isn’t. The most authentic benefit I can claim is that the way transactions will be processed complies with regulatory requirements (it is an insurance firm). The change itself doesn’t create improvements, so the change is not the source of motivation that will make me feel good about how hard I am working.
Making change happen is exciting and motivating!
Instead, I can turn to the process of making the change happen as a source of benefits:
- Process skills – this is another opportunity to deliver change in an agile way, creating a roadmap for incremental shifts in capability by delivering the change in short bursts to individual teams across the business.
- Benefits of new relationships – I get to work with new people on the customer and the supplier side, and I have built some new connections that I think over time will be valuable to my career and socially enjoyable.
- Practising emotional resilience – resilience is like a muscle. With repeated exposure to difficult situations, our brains develop a tolerance for hard things, and we are more able to cope. This change feels like I am pushing water uphill, so this is a great opportunity to find ways to reframe my negatives into positives and to find things that give me the energy and inspiration to keep going (like writing this blog!)
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- Acquiring new skills – to get the most out of the process, volunteer to do things that you don’t normally do to stretch yourself and acquire new abilities and practice those skills that you don’t get to use very often.
- Take the opportunity to buddy up with others to act as mentors – find things that you can each teach each other about your jobs so you expand your range of experiences.
If what you are doing isn’t a source of inspiration and motivation, don’t give up. Instead of looking at what you are creating, think about the process of creation as a source of good things. Think about the benefits of new skills; new relationships; new knowledge; a sense of accomplishment; a chance to build your resilience.