By Lisa Ayala, Cameron, a Schlumberger company. 2015-2017 SAPinsight Leader Board Member.
As leaders and members of a Super User network within our organization, we are
ambassadors of change. This can be a rather ambitious challenge as we realize meaningful behavior change is hard to do, and no one can make us change unless we truly want to change. Change has to come from within. Until we commit to it whole-heartedly, embracing the change with vigor, can we achieve the desired outcome and organizational behavior results.
A personal favorite quote, “One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain”. Growing up overseas and attending a largely international boarding school for most of my education, I learned quickly to understand that different is not good or bad, it is just different. Arriving in Africa at the age of nine, I immediately encountered changes in culture, language, living conditions, daily menu choices and through it all developed an appreciation for differences in values and vantage points. I strive to learn from these experiences, drawing upon the lessons learned for application to my life at home and at work even today.
It is important to realize that as we approach change in our organization we have four options: change or keep the positive elements; change or keep the negative elements. In the book Triggers, by Marshall Goldsmith, he defines four options with the wheels of change.
- We can choose to create better behavior in ourselves, such as how we treat people or how we respond to our environment. In the business world this is known as innovation, taking on new risks with new ventures.
- We can choose to preserve the things and behaviors that we do really well, and this in itself can be transformational. From a business perspective this would be making sure we do not lose sight of our core business or the key competencies of our team.
- We can choose to eliminate the busywork which consumes our time; likewise, we can sacrificially eliminate the things that we enjoy in favor of change, only to learn we actually enjoy this new “something else” even more. In a business sense this would be reorganizing for more effective engagement or selling off the businesses that no longer fit in our portfolio.
- Finally we can choose to accept that change can be a long journey which requires dedicated commitment.
Empathy, adaptability, commitment, transparency, passion and drive are core competencies for a Super User leading the way to embrace change in our organization. Remember that we are in the spotlight, and need to practice regularly our manners and actions to reflect positive responses to change in our lives. Each of us brings our unique experiences and perspectives to the role we have, both professionally and personally. We can learn to value differences in our team member’s skills as we identify the best talents for the given task at hand. The challenge is to become comfortable with yourself. The next step is to constantly disrupt that comfort by challenging yourself to grow and deepen your understanding of others. This requires maturity and courage. As a wave crests and then abruptly crashes to the shore, change is going to happen, you can embrace it, or succumb to it. Choose your response.