Joy at Work(er) Blog

The Change Decision Family End of 2020 Christmas Letter

joy at work Dec 26, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

This was an unprecedented year for The Change Decision family.  Truly unprecedented! (Fun fact: The word “unprecedented” has enjoyed unprecedented usage this past year.) As we wrap ourselves in the warm glow of end-of-the-year reflection, we wanted to take some time to share with you the marvels we experienced in 2020. So please grab a hot cup of cocoa or a glass of mulled wine or several shots of tequila - as you may be so inclined - and walk with us down the memory lane endemic to every Family Christmas Newsletter.


At the beginning of this year, whose number hints at “clarity of vision” and therefore Hope, The Change Decision had an unprecedented number of new engagements and more on the way. (Don’t worry, there will NOT be unprecedented usage of the word “unprecedented” in this newsletter - but, perhaps, it will come up a few more times!) To be certain, we were aware of a growing issue in a far off...

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2020’s Silver Lining is Connection

virtual teams Dec 24, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

Even if it doesn’t make sense, after seeing a pattern, one has to admit that there is something there, right? We have seen a pattern in what people have told us in dozens of interviews and client meetings and virtual courses. The pattern is increased a time of isolation.

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for...

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Own Your Talent

joy at work Dec 13, 2020

Even if you're lucky enough to be working for a company that's investing in your growth, it's up to you to own your talent. It's up to you to own your career growth.

In a joy research interview, a CEO mentioned she worked for her current company for over 10 years before leaving to work for another firm, rejoining several years later as CEO. She said she left because the longer she stayed the less confident she felt. For her, this was a passing comment, but it’s stuck with us ever since because we’ve heard this from many people, regardless of gender. The phenomenon: The longer you stay the less qualified you feel. It doesn’t actually make sense if you stop and think about it. Companies are constantly evolving so employees acquire and develop new skills every day just to stay employed. But perception beats logic every time.

From Roxanne: "I experienced this because at one point I worried my change approach might be odd or only specifically applicable to the company I...

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It's Becoming Okay to Talk About Feelings at Work

joy research Dec 11, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

In a Joy Research Interview this week, a senior executive said this year one of the biggest changes that happened in her company is it became okay to talk about feelings at work. It started at the top. It started with one executive admitting how he was feeling, and then the floodgates opened. She thinks it’s highly likely that’s here to stay for them.

We’re wrapping our brains around the implications of this for the workplace. We’ve seen this trend all year but to hear it so definitively described by an executive working in an industry that’s quick to dismiss the relevancy of employee feelings, is exciting.

How can this humanness be sustained and built on in way that’s good for people and for business?

One thought: We know that change can happen in a way that’s good for people and the company. That’s why we love it. It just makes sense to us.

As a result of 2020, there may be an increased openness...

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Balancing Respect

joy research Dec 09, 2020

Written by Ed Cook

As we grow up, Respect is something we are taught to give. Children are told to respect their teachers and coaches and other adults. The Judeo-Christian Bible commands Respect for parents, placing the commandment, “Honor Thy Father and Mother, ” after commandments concerning God but before those concerning crimes.  “Respect your elders” has been demanded for thousands of years. Like Trust, Respect is often included in organizational statements of values.

But the direction from which Respect is demanded (consider it a vector) has changed. Respect is demanded by individuals. It is a cry of defiance against indifference. As a result, Respect appears even more frequently. Google’s Ngram Viewer shows this increase in the past few decades. There is tension between Respect for the individual and Respect for the organization (and, as we’ll see, another player), a tension at the heart of growing Joy at Work.

Respect Is About...

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Joy in the Workplace is a Practice

joy at work Dec 07, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Rather than a destination, Joy at Work is a practice.

While most people like the idea of growing joy for themselves, they often have only a vague notion of what that means to them. Tuning into what joy at work means to you is a good first step. Here are some thoughts to help you tune in...

For the next week, notice what you experience joy at work:

When do you feel most satisfied with your work? What’s happening?
When do you feel joy in your interactions with colleagues? What’s happening?
When do you feel most motivated and inspired? What’s happening?
When do you laugh at work? Why?
When do you lose yourself in your work?
What small thing could you start or stop doing that would bring you joy?
Imagining it’s six months from now and you were successful in making that small change, what would be happening that would make it all worth it?

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Your Impact on the Joy of Others

joy at work Dec 02, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Most people don’t think about the impact they have on others at work. That’s not a character flaw, that’s just not how we’re trained to think about work.

If you think about your ripple effect on your colleagues, that can help you find meaning and purpose in unexpected places.

Think about how you impact others when you do your job well. How does that impact your boss, your peers, your company, your clients?

If you REALLY want to tune into your impact, think about the impact on others when you DON’T do your job well! How might that ruin someone’s day? How might that impact how THAT person interacts with their family?

If you imagine yourself as a beacon of impact, how do your words and actions effect the world?

The goal in this thought experiment is so you can see what you do in a new light. See how that impact connects to your values, or not. And, inspire YOURSELF to grow joy at work for others.

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4 Myths of the Change Management Profession

change Nov 14, 2020

Several signs indicate a growing, positive recognition of the Change Management profession. Roxanne Brown shares four myths and positive trends.

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A Love Letter to Change Management

change Nov 14, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Originally published 6/20/17.

Dear CM,

When I first met you my life at work was in turmoil. At the office, people who were standing just feet apart wouldn’t acknowledge each other. It was as if they didn’t know how so they filtered each other out. Everyone decided to keep to their friends now that the company had decided to purchase a longtime competitor.

There were new people in the office and they were the enemy. They were our competition that for years we battled against for clients, industry awards and big business. We knew them by name and by sight and now they were in our office. They were supposed to be one of us now. How strange it all felt. The new people acted like they were in a foreign land, looking stunned, trying to adjust. It was beyond awkward. I retreated to my office to escape the pressure of those interactions. The rooms and hallways were packed with emotion pressing everything downward. Lots...

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Fear versus Attraction

change Nov 12, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

You can use fear to make people change. It is a legitimate change tactic, especially in an immediate danger situation. But what happens is people freeze in place and only do what you tell them to do. They keep their heads down and keep to themselves. From time to time they’ll pop their heads up to look around to see if anything has changed. Then they go back to being heads-down. They’re frozen in place waiting for the next direction. It’s the safest thing to do.

Another tactic is attraction, attracting people to the vision of a new world you imagine. When you communicate your vision you help people see their place in this world and how they can bring their unique talents to make it happen. You inspire their action to your vision.

The effort you exert using fear versus attraction is different. The amount of effort may be the same but the nature of your effort is very different. Fear gets you speed but you will always be the person...

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