Although I tend to think that New Year’s Eve is over rated I love the clean new page feeling of New Year’s Day. It’s a chance to reflect on the previous year and plan for the one ahead. It’s also tempting to make impossible to keep resolutions which crumble in a few days and get pushed to the back of your mind.
From working with groups trying to bring about changes in business, it seems that the change process is not well understood. The basic reality is that change happens when people do things differently, be that staff adopting a different process or you getting up 20 minutes early so you get to the office on time. Change doesn’t happen by people making bold statements or waving a magic wand. Changes are delivered by hard work, addressing the little nitty gritty issues that stand in the way and by leaders being able to communicate their vision and make it applicable to everyone involved.
I’ve been fortunate in the past to facilitate for a leader with a vision of where he was taking his department. He could explain his vision to anyone he came across and he welcomed challenges and comments. When you met this leader he seemed quiet, modest and unassuming but his vision gave him a powerful rock on which to build everything he did. It was still difficult to deliver the changes across the department but at least everyone was aiming for the same vision
2008 was a real rollercoaster of a year and 2009 will inevitably bring further shocks and surprises. One thing we can be sure of is that Barack Obama becomes US President later this month. He is a man who has painted his vision with great eloquence and elegance, I’m just one of millions of people willing him to deliver the changes the world needs.