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3 Strategy Traps to Avoid when Managing Change – Sept 2017

3 Strategy Traps to Avoid when Managing Change

I recently sacrificed the opportunity to enjoy a coffee at my favourite coffee shop because of a talk on change Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist, was giving on the car radio.
You can listen to the podcast here – ABC National Radio

His essential point was that all inventions are preceded by leaps in imagination.  He also had some terrific insights on how we leaders can help others manage the rapid increase in change.

There are 3 Approaches to Change that do not work:

  • Utopianism – We should not promise our organisations that “Everything is going to be great when we get the new technology”.  There is no silver bullet.  Every change has its downsides.  If people are not prepared for these they will be disappointed and resist the next change.
  • Dystopianism – Nor should we be overly negative because then everyone just gives up.  (Consider reading the book, “The Handmaid’s Tale” or viewing is on SBS.  It is chilling in that everything that happens in one story has already happened in isolation.)  We need to be aware risks and manage, not run away from them.
  • Atavism* – This is the belief that everything in the past was great and we should return there.  This is a strongly held view by people who are threatened by change either because they are insecure, or have a vested interest in keeping things as they are.  We need to acknowledge that the past had a lot of good things, but that “to-day is the “good old days” of tomorrow……”

How do we manage change?

We need to take what is useful from the past and discard what has outlived its usefulness.

When considering new technologies, we need to keep in mind that there will be opposition to any change.  People will always exaggerate the risk and assume that the risk cannot be mitigated (e.g. “AC electricity would be too dangerous” – Edison).

We need to identify and manage the risks before implementing and adopting Change.

e.g.  When a driverless car is about to have an unavoidable collision with an older woman pushing a pram and needs to decide which one to collide with, what should it be programmed to do?  The German Government has already anticipated this moral issue and has passed a law stating that the cars must be programmed to see all life as equal.

Finally, we also need to be mindful that change is not necessary if current processes/technologies are serving their purpose well.

The HR profession needs to help organisations understand that change is inevitable and is not just about technology.  There is always a human element.  As individuals and educators, we need to build resilience and adaptability.

Instructional Designer, Online Learning 3 to 18-month assignment       Melbourne
Polson Nexus seek an experienced Online Instructional Designer to supplement a team of designers working on a major project.  (We filled the “Early Career Role” we advertised last month.)  The first stage is to be completed by the end of the year.  The next 2 stages are anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018.  The person must be up to date with AQTF; Captivate or Articulate; and be LMS competent.  Experience with Canvas would be helpful.   Kindly send CV’s to

50 Best Places to Work in Australia
AHRI has published it’s Best 50 Places to work in Australia list.  The article also gives some insight into why Mars is a great place to work – Australia’s best places to work

Top five places to work
(over 1000 employees)

Top five places to work
(over 100 employees)

Top five places to work
(under 100 employees)

  1. Mars
  2. Mecca Brands
  3. Hilton
  4. Campbell Arnott’s
  5. Marriott Hotels and Resorts Australia
  1. Stryker (health care)
  2. Salesforce
  3. Atlassian
  4. Birdsnest (retail)
  5. Nous Group (professional services, consulting)
  1. Avenue Dental (health care)
  2. Intuit Australia (IT)
  3. Canva (IT)
  4. Isentra (IT)
  5. Stackla (IT)

Outstanding Service from Westpac Private Banker, Wendy Brown
With so much bank bashing, it gives me pleasure to let people know what outstanding service I am getting from my personal banker, Wendy Brown at Westpac’s Melbourne City Branch.  Wendy has helped me through some surprisingly complex challenges in a timely and supportive manner.  I encourage people to identify a personal banker and develop a good relationship with them.

Book of the Month:
“Future Shock”, Alan Toffler

Quote of the Month
“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”.  Jack Welsh

*” The term atavism is sometimes also applied in the discussion of culture. Some social scientists describe the return of older, “more primitive” tendencies (e.g. warlike attitudes, “clan identity”, anything suggesting the social and political atmosphere of thousands of years ago) as “atavistic”. “Resurgent atavism” is a common name for the belief that people in the modern era are beginning to revert to ways of thinking and acting that are throwbacks to a former time.” Wikipedia 

(I can think of a few current world leaders and a former prime minister and their followers who fit the definition only too well…..)

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