In case you are over all those blogs and tweets telling you how to either have the perfect lockdown experience/survive lockdown then this isn’t an advisory blog. It’s a rambling ponder looking for debate and other thoughts.
I don’t know about you but I went in to our New Zealand wide lockdown with no illusions about writing a book. I’ve written a couple and for me they come from observation of my clients and what actually happens as opposed to theoretically happens. Being at home wasn’t going to give me much to observe I thought. But it has in a way I didn’t expect and that in itself has been interesting.
If you are on LinkedIn, you will be used to the never ending stream of ‘stories’ that are actually thinly veiled adverts for services. If you still use Twitter then the similar stream of ‘buy me’ has become normal. It’s creeping into Instagram too, where the amusing and interesting is punctuated with the ‘advisory’ or ‘ advertisory’ (overused ‘hide advert/its not relevant’ on my part). But with a lot of the world going in to some kind of lockdown/social distancing mode resulting in massive upheavals to the way we work, company closures, job losses and at the same time major production and supply chain issues you would think the throughput of these platforms would change.But it seems that isn’t the case for many of the change industry who continue to post about the same things they did last year.
I know that the rules for these platforms is that you to churn out ‘content’ so that you have a following, and continue to stay in their minds eye, to be snapped up the minute they need a consultant or a training. But isn’t our ‘content’ supposed to be ‘relevant’? And what more relevance for change agents can you have but change that was not predicted, planned or organised and is possibly going to be the greatest ‘disrupter’ of the way we work, than this pandemic?
So where are the blogs questioning the ‘relevance of Lewin's Freeze and Unfreeze/Kotters 8 steps/ 7S/ADKAR et al in the face of current reality’? Where are the tweets looking for research into whether ‘agile works in survival?’
Is it me expecting too much too soon? Or are we waiting for the academics to do the analysis after it’s all over and give us a new change paradigm? Are our change practitioners locked into their known models or really open to change themselves?
Or is there a touch of the Kubler-Ross ‘denial’ phase happening? Are we seeing a desperate hope that everything will go back to normal after this episode is over? Just got to keep our heads down and do what we already know because that keeps us safe and comfortable in chaos?
But it can’t be, as wouldn't that mean the change industry couldn’t do to itself what it advocates for others?
The world could be back to normal in a matter of months and my questions become moot. But change is inevitable in every other pathway of life so what’s the possibility that 2020 changes the way many of us work, deliver, consult, support so vastly that the models we used yesterday become irrelevant? And if that is a possibility then why aren’t we asking questions of our assumptions, challenging our status quo’s and debating the possibilities in the moment? Like Change Agents.
Thoughts and opinions appreciated. No criticism of anyone or anyone’s model intended. And if someone is having a discussion on ‘is this going to change change?’ and I wasn’t invited to the room then please feel free to quietly let me know.
theCHANGEfactor™ brand was established in 1999 in the UK by Martin Fenwick. Prior to coming to New Zealand this resulted in projects in Belgium, Germany and France as well as throughout the UK.