So I hopped over to London to visit family, my coach and friends. I have been a bit around the globe, but one thing still struck me odd:
Driving on the left.
Obviously I had already heard about it but forgotten about it when arriving at the airport at 7 am after having just spent the entire previous night trying to sleep at another airport!
I got onto the bus and actually got the seat in the very front with a clear view ahead!
This can be quite refreshing / shocking / awakening at once but then you probably adopt to it. Or so I thought. Because it is part of a lot of subtleties as well! Obviously you overtake also on the left, you walk on the left side of the street (if not too many tourists make you feel on the wrong side of the road whatever side you are on!), the metro (/tube) leaves to the left and not the right. Every time I had to think AGAIN!! Nothing normal! But then – what is normal?
“Being normal is boring. Be yourself and LIVE!” ~me 😉
What does this have to do with change and change management? Sometimes things (or the current “normal”) change. It is not about telling reasons and facts once. It is about accompanying people on the change of habits. As John Kotter once stated: ‘change sticks when it becomes “the way we do things around here”‘.
“The way we do things around here?” A new Song by “Deichkind” just came out: “Leider Geil!” (“Unfortunately Awesome!”) talking about habits that you might have to think about once again!
It is talking about all the little things that people do in their life or just when they are drunk, but also just stuff people cannot refrain from, when they are just in the mood for it. (Even if you are not German you maybe fall off your chair laughing when you see the video! It is worth a look although I fully do NOT endorse any of the actions taken there ;)).
People often seem shocked at first (maybe also YOU upon seeing this video!) but once they think about the upcoming on a deeper level and how THEY could personally BENEFIT from the intended change coming up (answering the “what’s in it for ME?” question) it mostly becomes easier. Embrace the “WHY (ME)?”.
But so what could I now personally take away from it?
It reminds me of a fable I heard lately:
‘There was a kingdom where every time a child was born, another inhabitant of died. When the King heard about this, it made him very sad and nothing could really cheer him up. One day his jester came to him and said: “Why don’t you see it the other way around? Every time somebody dies, a new person is born!‘
So seeing things from a different perspective can really make you think and see the good things in change coming your way.
People don’t dislike change in itself, but nobody likes being changed. Did you have to convince something new was cool but nobody listened or saw your point? Did you fully enjoy something random or chaotic and fully enjoyed it but other people thought it was just random or off?
Driving on the left? Are they all off? Maybe just you are off? In Africa so many people smile and are happy. They live off almost nothing. When they come to Europe they see a lot of people NOT smiling. They are often feeling uncomfortable. Are they wrong? In my eyes they are right, living off what they have and making the best of it. That is the philosophy I am living by now and try to convince other people to do so as well. 🙂 Btw: you can also change your own attitude that way by questioning your own actions and thoughts every day whether or not they day has actually been awesome without you noticing it! 😉
Make them think. And think about it yourself. Have you already experienced something similar? Would love to hear from you in the comments! 🙂