Joy at Work(er) Blog

Before Change Can Happen the Leader Must Change First

change leadership Nov 03, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Before change can happen the leader must change first. This seems pretty straightforward but applying it can be challenging!

When change is introduced, people notice how the leader is modeling the change they want to see in others – or not.

If you think you’re fine, it’s just that everyone else needs to change, that might be a problem. It’s a good idea to ask yourself from time to time…

  • How am I modeling the behavior I want others to adopt?
  • How might I be preventing others to change?
  • What am I willing to do differently to communicate to others that this change is important to me and to the company?

Even a subtle shift on your part could have a huge influence on others.

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When Someone Leaves the Company

change joy at work Oct 28, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

When someone leaves the company, it’s not just about that person. It’s about that person and all of the people that are impacted by their departure.

Even if the person’s departure is a relief, it’s still a loss. Even if a person’s departure isn’t voluntary, there’s at least a small amount of envy felt by others.

We often talk about the people that remain with the company as the people left behind, which is a way to put it that sounds a little strange. We say that because it can feel that way to the people that remain.

Naturally, people feel relief because it’s not them leaving. It’s a lot of work to leave a job and find/transition to another. It’s stressful. But there’s also excitement, adventure and possibility attached to the person leaving. So it partly feels like being left behind.

When someone leaves the company, everyone impacted needs to be cared for because it’s a loss. Even...

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Measuring Change

change Oct 04, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

When you’re leading change, how do you know you’re getting anywhere? How do you measure progress?

Measuring change progress does not need to be exact. It only needs to be directionally correct to lead to useful and actionable insights. The best place to start is by asking the question, what are the signs of progress? From there you can decide what data matters and what’s worth measuring.

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Change Can Grow Joy

change joy at work Oct 02, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Change can grow joy. An executive we spoke with recently referred to change as the destroyer of joy. It’s such a fascinating statement when you consider some of the phrases we use in business:

  • Disruptive innovation
  • Failing fast
  • Digital transformation

These are catchy phrases but also inspire inertia, disbelief, fear and a lot of cognitive dissonance when the words and actions of the company, leaders and managers don’t match, when that’s not acknowledged.

Another executive we spoke with said they don’t use the word “change” in their company, they say “evolution” because change is too scary.

Clearly there’s fear attached to change, but there’s another way. A company can change and grow joy. It’s all about how!

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What's the story behind that name?

change Sep 23, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

When Ed presented his decision analytics PhD research at INFORMS (Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences) conferences, no one asked about the math. What they asked was, “How did you get the organization to implement the decision?”

Before joining ACMP’s (Association of Change Management Professionals) Board of Directors, Roxanne noticed that at the annual conferences the attendees talked about their role in implementing what seemed like poor decisions. They wondered out loud, “How can we have a bigger influence on the change decisions?”

We realized decisions and change are two sides of the same coin.

Sometimes decisions don’t get implemented because the change seems too daunting.


Sometimes change implementations stop because a barrier is discovered that is too big to overcome.

It’s better to think of a change decision as a learning process because new information will be learned as the...

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When Leaders Introduce Change

change joy at work Sep 06, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

When leaders introduce change employees pay more attention to the words and actions of the leaders and influencers in the company. That’s because they’re trying to make sense of what’s happening and understand how they can be successful in this new situation.

They’re evaluating these things…

  • Are we really changing or is this a temporary focus?
  • Are all of the leaders on board with this?
  • What does my manager expect of me now? Does that match what their boss wants?
  • Do I have more or less value with this change?
  • How much work is this going to be for me? For my team?
  • What choices do I have?

As a leader you can think this through before you introduce change. Even if you spend 10 minutes on this you’ll get a more empathetic mindset so you can adjust your message.

Joy at Work is about trust, respect, belonging, cohesion, integrity, accountability, adaptability, growth, participation and commitment. It’s about helping...

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Change is a Partnership

change Jul 31, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

As a leader, your words and actions have a big influence on how others experience the change you introduce. Even so, your people can decide how well they adapt and how they experience the change.

It’s a partnership.

Your job is to tune in to how people are impacted. Your job is to act with empathy, yet in a way that’s reasonable and respectful of everyone involved including yourself, your company and your customers.

You can’t control the response of the people you lead but you can invite them to decide for themselves how well they adapt and give them the tools they need to make adapting easier.

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The Change & Joy Approach

change Jul 18, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

We believe change and joy go together.

As a Change Professional, one of the reasons why change work is hard is because you can build a thorough, grounded change plan and run into a trust problem detour. Now you’re outside of traditional Change Management and into a specialty area.

Of course, your plan is designed to build trust and all of the dimensions of Joy at Work, but you can find yourself challenged to be seen as a credible advisor for these dimensions.

This is advanced territory.

The Change & Joy approach includes the growth of these dimensions inside a structured change process because…

  1. This is what leaders need from you today; they need/want this advice.
  2. When change is introduced, dormant issues always emerge; you may as well be prepared.
  3. You can do this!

Our Change Management Certification Program gives you skills to recognize these dimensions in action and a structured approach to grow the dimensions as part of the change...

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Change and the Elusive "B"

change Jan 12, 2020

Written by Roxanne Brown

Early in my change career, my boss, my colleagues, and I were learning the art and science of change work by absorbing everything we could get our hands on. We poured over books together to see what we could glean that was relevant to our current business problems and applied the concepts right away. We were learning like crazy. It was energizing because we knew we had to get it right. Our reputations depended on it. A lot of people were depending on us.
 
At the time, most of the advice we were taking in was about getting from current state to future state, point A to point B. The goal was to have a clear articulation of both, examine the difference, then dive in to close the gap. All great concepts, but we quickly ran into a brick wall. 
 
My boss was spending a huge amount of energy and time to get our senior leaders to articulate "B". It was exasperating for her. Over and over again, she'd come back to the team feeling like...

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Determined

change Feb 15, 2018

Written by Roxanne Brown

There are lots of times when I’ve thought (exasperated), why can’t I do anything about this?!
 
I read endlessly about change. I’ve advised countless executives and practitioners on the ways and means of getting change done. I’m constantly thinking and talking about it. No kidding, I’m oddly fascinated and adore the subject.
 
And yet when it comes to some things I work on personally, it just doesn’t matter how much I know. So frustrating!
 
My conclusion? Sometimes you just need a little outside help to get what you want. I know, I know, not particularly insightful and a little self-serving. Definitely not my intent!
 
What I can share that may be of use to you are a few resources that can help -- the things I turn to when I’m working on something I really, really want. So, here you go…
 
Book advice:
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