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The pace of change

When to make a change and how quickly to move 

The January blog about cadence generated quite the response.  My thoughts seems to have given many a different perspective on how to structure your day or the way you lead a team.   The idea of cadence is not often talked about but is so integral as it is just as much about how we are managing our energy as it is about how we are influencing and bringing others along with us for the journey.   

I see this year as being the year that the rubber hits the road.  Our digital uptake has been advanced at least 2 years and flexible working is finally being offered with genuine flexibility.   These advances along with a whole host of others are bringing about a seismic shift in the way we work and how we lead others.  Just in case you didn’t realise, seismic shift is just another phrase for saying ‘change’. 

The timing and pace of this change is faster than in previous years.  Mostly because some industries and businesses just don’t have a choice.  Don’t change, and be left behind.  While others are making tweaks and slight adjustments.  No matter the scale of change always consider the pace of change and the cadence with which you approach it.    

It is tempting to rush ahead with energy at the pace of your early adopters but you risk leaving everyone else behind.  However, you also don’t want to fall into the trap of pandering to your laggards who no matter how much support you provide just don’t seem to what to change.   

Asana recently undertook research into how we work and felt about our work.  Out of the 2,100 knowledge workers in Australia and New Zealand, 8 out of 10 reported they suffer burnout at least once per year.  That is staggering!  No wonder we have one of the worst productivity rates in the OECD.   

Finding the right cadence and pace for work can be difficult. It can resemble crystal ball gazing.  Nonetheless if you don’t factor in the downtime and keep hammering your team with change initiatives, like an Ibiza night club that operates 365 days a year, you will most certainly find your productivity is not where it could be. In fact you may convert your majority into laggards, who resist change.  

A book that is on my ‘to read list’ this year is Simon Sinek’s ‘The Infinite Game’.  I was inspired and energised after listening to a podcast conversation between him and Brene Brown.  Their conversation confirmed for me something I have come to understand better, and intuitively knew to be true – the most reputable firms around the world don’t necessarily buy into the ‘must grow bigger and faster business philosophy.  They instead play the long game.  The ‘infinite game’, or as I like to call it ‘the Journey’.   

Now consider this – you are the All Blacks coach at the World Cup.  Would you: 

A – play your best players for the full 80 minutes of each and every game like it is the final?  Or  

B – are you going to have your best players only play the 80mins for the make or break pool play games and let them build up to the final, and let the focus be on the lesser experienced players for those other easy win games with the 2nd or 3rd tier nations? 

Like with any employment journey, you have choices to consider and options to factor into your strategy and how fast or slowly you implement.   

I encourage you listen to this podcast and to really sit back consider your plans for this year and beyond.  What is the cadence you are setting for your team and yourself?   

If Change is on the horizon for 2021 or beyond, you should check out The Change Game.  It is the first of many online courses I am developing under the sister brand – DIY HR.  Specifically designed for leaders of change who want to better understand the key stages of a change process and how to best navigate it.  With extra one on one coaching and on-call assistance while you work through the course, you will find leading and navigating change in your business much smoother than before.