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The Change Animal

All too often change initiatives and transformation programmes have great ambitions to change the way organisations work. And all too often Business As Usual (BAU) slowly consumes and defeats any attempt at change.

Typically, Change programme teams are established with new people to help and support the transition from the old way to the new way. Strategy, programme and change management plans are prepared with business readiness and impact assessments undertaken to mobilise the change. Executives and leaders support the plans and the direction and so on…and yet both individuals and organisations alike continue to talk about BAU as if it is separate from the intended change.

BAU can be like a large sleeping dog in front of the fire with the ‘change’ puppy jumping around wanting to play. The BAU dog knows that if it just lies there pretending to sleep the Change puppy will eventually tire and go away allowing the BAU dog to go back to doing what it enjoys.

I am sure we have all seen workplaces like this with the BAU dog and the ‘change’ puppy; where BAU will make a few changes and make some movement but will wait until the Change puppy tires and runs out of steam so they can return back to BAU.

While Change management is a respected, credible and well-established profession that has best practice, researched models and frameworks as part of a comprehensive toolkit, it can only go so far if the embedded culture is entrenched in the status quo.

The success of change is not about the quality of change management or the expertise of the practitioners. In many cases, it is about the inherent culture, the leadership of the organisation and/or the growth mindset of its people. In these organisations, the BAU sleeping dog is a rare animal, Change As Usual (CAU) is very present and engaged in the way of working.

CAU is very aware the world has changed. Market globalisation, technology, speed, and expectations are continuously changing. CAU knows that the way we work affects both the large corporate and the small business alike. No single organisation is impervious to the changing market….all it takes is a new app, device or product and the game has changed yet again.

It is different from the change puppy. CAU is very aware that working harder has its shortcomings in many guises. Long hours are not the solution. CAU knows that it’s a mindset, an approach and a way of working. Core to business success is mind-set and the approach to continuous changes. It is about being open, adapting, learning, growing, and being resilience

CAU is about being open, adapting, learning, growing, and resilience. CAU, with its growth mindset the focus becomes outcomes and achievements with self and others.

It is not just about the company profits and success its about the contribution you make, the interactions you have and the collaboration with others and the wider ecosystem in a very connected world.

CAU is not an animal though, it is a mindset. It could be you and how you look at the world that makes the difference.