Joy at Work(er) Blog

Give People What They Want

change decision joy at work Sep 17, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

In times of crisis (and change), leaders need to give people something constructive to do that’s not throwaway work. That’s what people want right now. 

In normal times, the workforce has a much easier time deciding what they should focus on. A company’s values, mission, strategic objectives and historical track record are the guide rails employees use to judge what’s important and make decisions about their priorities. Today, companies are making frequent, unexpected pivots to both survive and take advantage of new opportunities. Among other things, shifts in supplier relationships and customer buying patterns are influencing adjustments to long-established business models. For employees, this means those guide rails for knowing what’s important are less clear.

On top of which, employees are overloaded with making decisions about their safety. Employees are asking themselves these questions:

  • (WFH policy) Will I be...
Continue Reading...

Change: Learn Your Way Forward

change leadership Aug 22, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Change is an active learning process! Even when the destination is clear (which most often it's not even in the most stable times), the path there involves a lot of test-and-learn activity. We like the "learn your way forward" way of thinking about change, or "decide-change-learn-decide-change-learn".

This way of thinking about it…

  • Removes the pressure of needing a clear future picture before acting – let that go!
  • Removes needing to have the answers to all the questions you anticipate getting – that’s not realistic, ever
  • Removes feeling like you have to be ready for every doubter’s comment – the doubters are worth listening to with lightness, meaning don’t get weighed down, instead think of them as helping you see the fears people have and what might be important to address
  • Removes the feeling that it’s hopeless, that any change is destined to fail and it’s impossible to come up with the right answer...
Continue Reading...

The Secret to Virtual Work

joy at work management Aug 17, 2021

Written by Ed Cook

Perhaps the most consequential business decision of 2021 will be to what extent a business should return to the office. With COVID-19 continuing to impact the planet (and sadly showing signs of a very strong resurgence), it seems likely that we will continue working virtually at least in part. It also seems increasingly likely that as this situation continues, we will never use offices in the way we did two years ago. Virtual work will no longer be for distributed salespeople and a few other job types that make up a fraction of the workforce. It will be for everyone. So how do we do it well?  Answer: With Trust.

 “One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” -- E.M. Forster

But what is Trust? And, why do we want to build it? Let’s start with trust. We place our trust “in” things and people, as in, “I put my trust in this old car,” or “I put my trust in...

Continue Reading...

2018 Change & Innovation Summit

change leadership Jul 30, 2021
 

The founder and host of the Change & Innovation Summit, April Callis Birchmeier, interviews Roxanne Brown. Roxanne shares her thoughts about how to work with leaders and how to develop layers of change leadership.

Continue Reading...

It may be a company ending mistake to “Go Back” to the office

Written by Ed Cook

The increasing frequency of calls to “go back” to the office is not surprising.  The past year-and-a-half has been anywhere from difficult to deadly for nearly everyone on the planet.  Who wouldn’t want to roll back the clock?  Sure, we had worries back then, but, for most of the world, it was not a trade-off between your livelihood and your life.  Now, with increasing vaccination rates (although there are important concerns about new variants and resurgent infection rates), it is possible to contemplate a return to normalcy.  So, of course, talk about going back to the office has been increasing in the last couple of months and will only increase through the summer and early fall.  But before pulling the trigger on the announcement that everyone in your organization should “go back” to the office consider the impact of the Great Resignation. 

The Great Resignation

Texas A&M Associate...

Continue Reading...

What-if Scenarios: Risks Change Professionals navigate every day

change Jun 17, 2021
 

Part of the What-if Series: Risks Change Professionals navigate every day. What do you do as a Change Professional when you've just started on a project that's been in progress for a long time already?

Many Change Professionals believe that they're at a disadvantage when they don't start on a project right from the beginning. This may or may not be true, as Roxanne Brown explains. There's a lot you can do to be successful and create trust at the same time.

Continue Reading...

Are You a Great Change Leader?

Written by Ed Cook

It’s a fascinating exercise to pose the question, “Are you a great Change Leader?”  The personae that tend to emerge break in one of two directions,  Lawyer or Scientist.

The Lawyer will begin with a recitation of presumably amazing evidence underlying their Change Leadership prowess -- the project that landed well and the difficult situation that got smoothed over;   the success in personal conflict resolution and the time something else “amazing” happened.  It is all true and valid, an airtight case!  

In contrast, the Scientist will pose a question: “How do I know if I am a great Change Leader?”  Evidence will be collected. But, even if done well, it’s not about proving a case but understanding the situation as informed by outside evidence, not inside justification.  That means asking others for assessments of your Change Leader skills.  The Scientist knows that...

Continue Reading...

In Search of Meaningful Work

joy at work Mar 15, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Imagine this: You love your work. You love being absorbed by it. You feel your life’s purpose reflected in the work you do and you can see the impact it’s having. Your family and friends are proud of you and the work you do. They can see why it’s important, why it drives you. Even on those most hair-raising days leaving you completely rung out you still feel deep satisfaction because you know your energy and time is worth the effort. 
 
Nirvana, right? Maybe this is you today. Or, maybe this was you at some point in the past. Maybe it's something you wish for. The question is, how can you cultivate meaningful work?
 
Turns out even if you don’t have a deep, meaningful connection to your work today, there are still ways to bring meaning into your world of work without leaving your current position.
 
Like what? Well, you could…

  • Slowly expand the time you spend on the more meaningful parts of your work
  • ...
Continue Reading...

Rethinking What Work Means in Life

change joy at work Mar 01, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Today, many people are asking themselves what it means to work. Most of us have to work to financially support ourselves and others, to be safe in this world, to create the life we want to have. Because that’s true it gets complicated. There are a lot of questions to consider:

How am I going to spend my time working?
How am I going to allow myself to be treated? How will I treat others no matter how I’m treated?
What choices do I feel I have to work to financially support myself and others?
What is a life worth living and how does work factor into that?

The impact of the pandemic has been felt deeply, uniquely among a huge number of us. Because this has been a prolonged experience, change has happened. It’s hard to see the implications but people are reevaluating what work means in a person’s life.

How have your thoughts about work evolved over this past year? What crazy ideas have you entertained? How have you created choices for...

Continue Reading...

If You Think Change Will Be Hard, It Will Be

change leadership Feb 27, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

If you think change will be hard, it will be. We’ve seen it over and over again. If you believe your people can’t handle change or don’t like change then you are pretty much guaranteeing that it won’t go well. If you believe that your people can handle change and just need to be treated with respect in the process, you have a much better shot at the change going well.

Do your words and your actions demonstrate that you…

• Understand (or at least are trying to understand) how people are affected by the change you’re introducing?
• Believe people are basically reasonable and just need context and a little space/time to process?
• Recognize people will have a lot of questions, have reasonably prepared for that and are willing to be available for more questions as they make progress?
• Value their participation and contribution to make your vision come to life?

A little of this goes a long way!

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Sign up for the Hello, Joyful Leader quarterly publication for the latest Joy Research insights and news!