Are you leading change?
Do you understand the key components in successfully leading change in today’s disruptive world?
On December 24th, 1968, fueled by fears of Russian space supremacy, and guided by President Kennedy’s vision, Apollo 8 comes around the moon for the first time.
The astronauts are greeted with the most amazing spectacle – Earth Rise.
From the Dawn of Time, man has spoken and sung of our god’s looking down on earth from above, and now for the first time, we get a god’s eye view of our blue-green planet spinning against the vast backdrop of space.
Vicariously, through the eyes and cameras of those brave astronauts, we had escaped the cultural frames of race, religion, nationality and nationalism. But did we change?
As a species we could have had an epiphany – we are one Tribe, on One Planet, with One future!
Leading Change – Steve Jobs
In 2005 Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, gave the commencement speech at Stamford University.
He starts by telling a story about connecting the dots. Of how we often make sense of our life by looking backwards. Then he tells a story about love and loss.
The story tells about being fired from the company he founded and loved, and how he responded to that disruption.
The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Jobs then went on to found two new companies, one of them, Pixar, gave us joy with movies like Toy Story.
These two examples show that before the new story comes the disruption. The American psyche was disrupted by the Russians in 1961, when they put a man into orbit. Steve Jobs was disrupted by being fired. When disruption comes, like in the Robert Frost Poem, A Road Less Taken, we have a choice.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Leading Change with Models & Tools
The USA chose to respond to the disruption by reframing the space threat to a ‘race to the moon’. Jobs chose to write a new story of continuing to do things, things her really loved.
So, change happens when we face disruption, and tell a new story, but is that enough?
Once we have a new story, we need new models and tools to take action with.
Banks have been disrupted by changing legislation, and the arrival of the Fintechs. Digital became the new story, but getting staff and customers to embrace digital banking required new business models and tools. Those tools came in the form of better websites and apps, and now we rarely have to visit our retail bank.
Jobs used the tools of animation to express his vision, and America used the tools of rockets.
As a leader or entrepreneur, when you are planning your change initiative, remember to:
- Articulate the current or coming disruption
- Tell a new story of how things will be
- Provide a new model or tools to operate
- Take and action and reward behaviors in-line with the new story
- Respond to feedback and adjust accordingly.
In 2000 my business was disrupted and I lost everything. Like Steve Jobs, I got in-touch with what I love and began speaking and coaching on the importance of Influence and Impact through Self-leadership. Through my research, I published a book in 2012 containing models and strategies. By sharing these strategies, I have received feedback and refined the tools, and today I help leaders to lead change.
What’s your disruption? What’s your story? What are your tools?