Does Transformation Motivate You?





Most people we poll answer ‘Yes’ to this question. On the surface, an affirming response makes perfect sense. Almost everyone is open to doing something new or doing better. Some are even open to doing things differently. The reality is most reasonably motivated people have the natural desire to improve.
And why not? There is an enormous ecosystem of products and services available to support our desire to change. You know the list. Personal trainers, foreign language discs, self-help books and tapes, music instructors, dance teachers, art classes, nutrition experts, executive coaches, sports coaches, clutter buddies, etc. The resources available to help people drive personal change are endless. You’ve probably tapped a number of these resources yourself. The change industry conservatively generates more than $11 billion a year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-help). It attracts 108 million hits on Google. And it grows larger and more varied every day.
Our desire to change, to grow is innate (http://pcs100.com). And our commitment to try to change is as predictable as the calendar itself. Each January 1, millions of people go through the same ritual of renewal by writing down their resolutions for the New Year. Then on or about April 1, the original list first committed at the start of the year is replaced by something less ambitious or more focused.
What happens? What gets in the way? Why do we fail ourselves? There are a number of plausible excuses. Most people simply lose interest. Others don’t see results fast enough. Some are too easily distracted.
But the real reason people can’t see change through (if they were completely honest with themselves) is they lack conviction, fortitude, and courage.
Change is hard. And transformation of any reasonable magnitude is damned hard. For all its possibility for a better way, the process of making change happen can be enormously frustrating, debilitating, even infuriating when you encounter the obstacles that are always there.
What forces have the strength to derail or stop the transformation train? There are two: Inertia and time.
The power of inertia is relentless. It will wear you down. Find your weak spot. Shine the light on an escape route which most people all too often are willing to run to. This is a common behavioral trait that is integral to the human condition. How many times have you heard someone say, “but we don’t do it that way.”
Time is our most valuable commodity, yet we treat time like it’ll always be there for us. Time waits for no one. Nor do marketplaces or our competitors. Which means every day is a lost opportunity to do something better. Lost time is our most shameful opportunity cost.
How then do companies manage to transform themselves if they are populated with people who can so easily fall off the grid of change?
The answer lies in finding people who don’t just say they are motivated by transformation, but people who actually are completely motivated by transformation and all that it brings. These people are leaders. They are at once the architects, drivers and ambassadors of the new way. These people are strong and in a hurry. These are people that will not be put off by inertia or an entrenched culture or the fear of commitment. These people are rare. But they exist. This is what they look like:
·     
·      They are in a hurry, have a plan, and know the stake of the enterprise is greater than the sum of its individual parts/departments
·      They push the boundaries
·      They go beyond most people’s comfort zones
·      They have a commitment to speed
·      They are willing to be bold
·      They won’t settle
·      They seek out others who share the same conviction and commitment
·      They are passionate
·      They motivate in their actions and words
·      They have the commitment from the board and/or the executive leadership team
·      They put in a place a structure that will enable change not slow it down as we wrote in our last blog
·      They are entrepreneurial
·      They communicate often


Do you know people like this? Are you one of them? Does transformation truly motivate you?
Organizations need people like this — now more than ever. How else will our companies fulfill their highest level of potential? How else will we identify and capture new markets? How else will we challenge the big dogs? How else will we get our MOJO back? How else will we instill pride in our workforce and in what we do? How else will we realize our true enterprise and shareholder value? How else will we accelerate through our opportunities?
How else indeed.

3 Comments

  1. Will says:

    Great post, Tom. I find that people who are like you describe tend to move the furniture around a lot. As in, literally move the furniture around in their offices or homes. When things are the same for too long, these folks don't feel alive. Like a watch that you can't feel on your wrist anymore. So, creating change to these people is a necessary way of "feeling life happen." They probably can't help themselves.

  2. James says:

    I love the comment from Will … perhaps because I am a person who rearranges furniture almost every week. I truly "can't help myself."

    Great observation, Will. Most excellent.

  3. Jim Mancuso says:

    I would add that prioritization is a key skill. Change can get derailed by issues that don’t matter as much and act as interference. But, I agree with the major point it is about courage and related to the post below, commitment. Speed is big deal too, as people do get bored with an idea which is no longer fresh. Too many new exciting ideas can sprout up along the way.

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