My company, in an attempt to educate me further on customer relationship management (CRM), sent me to San Francisco to attend a seminar. I spent four wonderful days at a very expensive conference center attending break-out sessions on how other companies succeeded in customer relationship management. I learned CRM practices and methodology, ways to implement successfully, and how to effectively measure success. I certainly didn’t leave California an expert in four days, but I did leave with some valuable information that could help support organizational change.
The problem with this scenario is not that I didn’t want to learn and change. The problem wasn’t that my company and leader didn’t want me to change. The problem was that others didn’t want me to change.
Companies spend millions of dollars each year in training and organizational leadership development hoping that we as future leaders will change. We are expected to grow and develop and become more effective in our current leadership role and more prepared for our next role. As leaders in organizations, we must encourage and demand transformational change whenever we are sending others for leadership development. No one expects us to become an expert with one seminar; I know from experience. I don’t expect those who go through the ThoughtShredder process will change immediately. It takes time and reinforcement. That reinforcement requires that we accept transformational change and others accept the new organizational culture.
I encourage all of my audiences to take make two commitments, and I encourage you to do the same right now. Write these two statements down and commit to them:
- I will change.
- I will allow others to change.
This might seem obvious or even silly, but statistics show that a very small percentage of seminar attendees actually do something different when they return to work. Much of this, from my experience is because we go back to an organizational culture that doesn’t want us to change. We need to make the commitment today to be that transformational leader before we attend another seminar or send another colleague to one.