The Productivity Show #4: The Fear of Change
00:01 Hello everybody, and welcome to this week's productivity show. And this week we're talking about the fear of change. And it's a changing time of year here in England. It's a beautiful spring day, a sun shining. And so we're coming out of, uh, the winter, uh, merging into spring and everybody now is talking about what they're going to do in the better, whether the light or nights aren't thinking about holidays. So it, it really is a time of change. And I thought we'd talk about this, the fear of change today because it's a topic that's close to my heart and it's something that I've be going through for literally for all of my life. Constantly changing. My roles have changed, my business has changed. I've changed as a person, um, but with some people it stops the dead in their tracks. And last week, since our last show, I spent three days down in Bristol running a training course for one of our public sector companies.
01:10 Uh, this particular, not so much a company, but an organization because this organization is very much responsible for looking at hi Jeff, and very warm welcome to you. Um, this organization is responsible for setting policy in health and social care right across [inaudible] across England or Wales. And they going through a massive change at the moment. They have a number of challenges because they're funded by, uh, by the government. Uh, they don't actually make a product or develop a product that goes out to market, but nevertheless, they face this massive change. And a lot of the people that I trained last week, we were 15 people on the training course, all in different roles, ranging from analysts up to a director. Most of those people, their job is under threat and it's, it's, uh, it's, it's a, it's a stretch that I hear about a lot of the time in big businesses because it's the threat of, it's now being called the fourth industrial revolution.
02:26 So it's the threat that comes from automation, from artificial intelligence, uh, from the whole sort of drive towards automating and bringing technology into businesses. That's going to eliminate a lot of the lower level jobs. Now, a lot of the people that are on this training courses, it's like they were analysts. So a lot of their work is taking all of the information that's collected from our public bodies, from people who check into a hospital, it's a doctors into the emergency services, collating all of that information. Then providing reports that go out to the decision makers around, uh, decisions that they made for funding future health care and social care. And the training course I run last week was all designed. Uh, it uses a framework called Agile, which is, it comes from software development, but it's equally applicable across service businesses. Even if you're not developing software or a technology solution, it's still relevant to everybody's business because the whole premise is how can I develop my product or service and get that out to my Custer quicker to deliver value to them and also bring revenue into me. So as some of you know, my background is project management and typically some of those projects could last a year, two years before anything got released to the customer.
04:11 This is a massive, massive change for people because now what we're doing is instead of the being a hierarchy where directors and managers talk to their teams and it shook them what to do and when to do things and how long things take. Now the teams are self governing, their self managing. So that actually now expected to come up with timescales to feed back to their superiors about how much effort things taken, about how long it's going to take to get their products out to market. Now this particular organization last week, then market's very different and they're also driven by a number of different stakeholders because they're stakeholders cover people like you and I who are consumers of health care and social care, but also their stakeholders are the government bodies. So the big challenge for them is how do they serve multiple stakeholders. The one thing that came over in that trading was this fear of change because people have been doing the job they've been doing either for a year, two years, uh, and in another organization that I've just worked in, some of those people have been doing their job in the way they've done it for much longer for 10 or 15 years.
05:35 So now what we're asking people to do is to completely change the way they've worked and work in a much more flexible way that as a is designed for them to get their product to their customer quicker. And it's a massive, massive hurdle so people to go through. Now,
05:55 many, many people talk this thing called the theory of change and there are actually a number of theaters that money fest in people's lives. There's a theater of the unknown because if you're going into something new, each quite logical, I'm told that people are fearful of what that will entail. There's also the fear, if you've had a previous experience of doing something in a different way, people have taken you through a change. There's also the fear of the past repeating itself. I had that fear once because I had a particularly traumatic experience at the hands of a business owner and I have these massive, massive theater that this was actually going to repeat itself. But if you have that there, we can also, we can help you get over that. There's also the fear of failure. So put yourself in a situation that you've been doing a job for a number of years, you're very comfortable at it, you're very experienced, started.
06:55 Um, you've, you've, you've progressed through the hierarchy of the company. If you are then asked to do something completely new and different, there is this thing going on in your head that the what if, what if I'm unsuccessful? What if I fail? All of those for me though, are very much symptoms. The underlying root cause of that fear is the fear of loss. So looking at the people on, on the training course last week, a lot of those people who are in management positions, there was one associate director on the course. A lot of those people in their minds narrow thinking about, well, what does this mean for me in my job? Because I'm no longer in this position of authority. I'm no longer instructing my team on not just what they should do, but how they should do it and how long he's going to take them.
07:48 They're now telling me, now there's a concept in some of the training I cover, it's called the servant leader is called servant leadership. So having gone from a command and control hierarchy, what we now adopting is more of a servant leader. So these people who have been in this command situation are now actually serving the, serving the team that they manage. That's a very different way of looking at life. So this fear of loss, what we talking about is whatever position you're in, when we ask people to change, and it could be a change in where we do business, it could be a change in location. What people have going through their minds unconsciously, what are we going to lose when we make this change? Typically, what happens in businesses, and I, you know, I've talked a lot about this. I did a session at um, a public utility company a while back is how to manage that change because the one single of those people wanted to know on this training course was what's in it for me if we make with isn't it, sorry.
09:04 It's not, if we make this change, it's when we make this change, what do I get out of it? What does it mean for me? And that's typically one thing that he's constantly overlooked when any type of changed is managed in a base they send, it could be changes in procedures, it could be, yeah, we're now live online. It could be a case of we're taking a business from being a bricks and mortar business and very much a physical infrastructure into an online business. And those people will be asking that one question. What's in it for me now? One of the things I'd love to hear from you is about what barriers you've encountered when you've gone through any sort of change or, or indeed when you've taken your clients through change. Because I do see this resist or we see resistance to change, not just in the corporate businesses that I work in, but also in smaller businesses. Um, uh, most of the people that will join us on this show, I'll probably from this, from the smaller end of the scarred in terms of their businesses. My guess is the, either you've made a transition and going through some, some, some element of changing the way you do business or the way you run your life, but also a change in, in, in your clients and your customers. So I'd love to hear is what are the, some of the obstacles that you've had to face in taking people through that transition and that change.
10:43 One of the things that, um, if you, if you've been on the show before, if you've read anything, I've written it, you'll probably see that I talk about a lot about how to achieve a specific goal. One of the reasons people don't always achieve their goals is because of those barriers that they put in place. And that then plays back to those fears that we've just talked about. So again, it's the fear of change. It's the fear of the unknown, but also the theater of the sense of loss. Now,
11:16 that's a great example of this. In my dance teacher, she's in her early fifties and she's been teaching dancing for about 25 years. I'm pretty successful at what she does. Um, and there's all sorts of issues going on in her life. And I've come up with suggestions over the past just merely as a friend rather than treating or is a prospective client. But the one thing that comes over is the fear of change. Now, excuse me, one of the things I'll be established with a is the, if she, lets go of all of these problems that she's got, there's actually nothing then left in our life. There's a big hole in it. So again, it's that fear of, you know,
12:04 uh, the, the, the, the theory of change and what she going to lose because all of those things, but he, stuff that was going on with her mom, uh, kids, a husband, they're all things that she can hang on to. But if she actually removes the problem, then she's going to lose something. Sure, she's going to gain an awful lot as well. But there's also some things that she's going to lose. Now what I intend to do after this show is I'll get the transcripts sorted out and if you've seen my post earlier on today, what I'm now doing is I'm now posting both the video and the transcript. I'm a blog because it's a lot easier to post the transcript there that cause he took into, into pcs because of the limitations around Facebook. So just before we disappear it, I'm done. But you're going to go off and enjoy this beautiful spring sunshine. Uh, be really interested to hear if you've got any questions for me. Otherwise I shall see you next week. I'm not sure what the timing will be next week. We're probably going to do it either the same time or four o'clock UK time. Cause at the moment my counting just completely up in the air, but I will post out the details. Uh, as soon as I've, I know what the time will be.
13:28 Okay. So I look forward to seeing you next week. And if you do have any questions, just drop them into the comments box, uh, in, in the post or create a new post within the group and to look forward to seeing you next week. Thank you. This is Chris Hallett from the productivity show.