Week 36 – Standing still has its advantages

I have been talking to a vast number of change professionals from around the world as people complete the capability for change survey.

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I have been talking to a vast number of change professionals from around the world as people complete the capability for change survey

This volume of engagement helps me see patterns that are not apparent when talking to small groups.

One of these patterns is the high number of women working in change, whilst there are a much higher proportion of men working in transformation. Whilst both terms are synonymous with business change, the transformation roles command a higher salary. Perhaps this will be a future blog on using the right terms to describe our work and positioning ourselves for greatness and overcoming imposter syndrome.

Another trend is career stagnation. For many of the women I talk to, they are supporting change in the business. Every day they are nudging, encouraging and persuading those impacted by change to apply new ways of working.

This work is stable, and whilst they might change organisation occasionally, their work doesn’t vary, irrespective of the type of change they are involved in.

Many have described their career as stagnating. They feel stuck doing the same things year after year. They are so busy trying to balance their work with demanding home lives (young children/elderly parents) that they don’t have the capacity to move forward.

I can sense their frustration, because although they would like more challenge and more progression at work, they also recognise that it is not the right time for them. If you feel you are treading water at work, let me share a more positive view of the situation:

Building experience

Although you may feel you are addressing the same situations every day, this means that you are creating a database of examples of actions you have taken, emotions you have dealt with and outcomes you have created.

Practising new techniques 

If you regularly face the same situations, this gives you the chance to practice new and different techniques. You already have a wealth of experience in solving these problems, so you have a “safety net” of tried and tested things you can do. This gives you the freedom to try something different, because you can apply your safety net if the new techniques don’t work. This is a fantastic environment for experimenting and learning.

Trend analysis

By experiencing similar resistance to change and common difficulties change after change, you have enough volume of experiences to identify trends. You can look across all your experiences to identify the most common reactions by stakeholders to different situations.

This makes you a valuable source of guidance in the design and scheduling of change communications, because you have lots of understanding of what the reactions are likely to be.


Sometimes, standing still gives us the opportunity to assess and learn from what is happening around us. This part of our careers is not forever, so let us enjoy it and benefit from it whilst we can, using this time to accumulate experiences, examples, lessons learned that we can take forward into our next challenge.