How do we change and adapt sustainably?

How do we change and adapt sustainably?

photo of a young group overlooking the sea

At the EMCC UK day conference, Future proofing your practice, Diane Newell led a workshop on individual, team and organisational change, ‘Going from a great idea to a new future’. In this blog post, she writes about the trap we often fall into when we think about change, and gives a taster of her conference session.

If you are going to ’future proof’ your practice or your business, you need to be able to change and adapt. Self-evident, right? So self-evident, in fact, that many businesses skip right to thinking about what needs to change. And planning to put that change into practice. And then wondering why the plan didn’t quite happen, why it took so long, why it was so difficult and why it caused so much emotion.

The problem is that transformation isn’t about how you rearrange the furniture; it’s about how people change their mindsets, habits and beliefs. So how do you change as an individual? What new habits of thought and behaviour have you adopted in the recent past? What real changes in who you are and what you believe can you point to? And how did they come about?

Here’s what almost never happens. You spot, or someone tells you, a way in which you could be ‘better’ – more productive, more fun, healthier, whatever. You think of a plan of action to effect that change. You put it into action and as a result you think, act and are different. End of story. We know that isn’t how it works. We have experienced it not working for ourselves when we took out that gym membership one January and let it lapse by April (OK that might just be me).

And yet when we are thinking about business change, all too often that’s the deceivingly simple underlying model we are working on. And when you are planning changes in your own practice or business, you could fall into the same trap. 

Diane Newell is Managing Director of Coaching Services at The OCM Group and is an EMCC Master Practitioner. 

Photo: Providence Doucet on Unsplash