Nordic Business Forum 2018 – Key takeaways from a change leadership perspective?

After this year’s Nordic Business Forum, I discussed with a bunch of CCEA colleagues, and asked them what their intake was from the event, if looking from a change leadership perspective. Among many things, “change of change” and human insight were few of the main topics.

Let’s see what else they had to say. Below, a few points that were highlighted by Juha Lindfors, Mika Paalanne, Auli Packalén, Katri Ranta, Elina Rautjärvi and Johanna Wäänänen.

How are organisations able to change in the constantly evolving and changing world?
– Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel’s speech on Building an Evolutionary Advantage inspired us all. We truly do not know yet what kinds of changes are still waiting around the corner.

“The only constant seems to be the change” Juha says. “As Hamel stated, even the change has changed. Changes can be more ruthless and more surprising than ever. The rate of change can be exponential” Auli continues.

Elina continues by saying that change requires constant growth and learning – a readiness to change. “The whole organisation should be as resilient as the world is turbulent” she concludes.

“Organisations need to be able to change and renew themselves constantly, but in a controlled way. I support Hamel’s idea, that there will be less of massive change programs, and instead organisations renew themselves by making incremental changes, constantly. This requires completely new skills and elasticity, especially from the leaders, managers, developers – well, the whole staff” Auli reflects.

Elina supports Auli by adding “Continuous changing should become an inevitable and natural part of the organisations.”

Mika also highlights the importance of understanding the whole change portfolio and the need to consider the total load that these changes are causing. He continues by saying “Provide visibility to all changes affecting the organisation in the long term, estimate the load of the changes and consider how many things can truly be changed incrementally at the same time.”

Steven Kotler wisely highlighted that humans are not multitaskers and therefore we need to choose where we focus our change energy, and when” Elina adds.

People are not change resistant after all. 
– Gary Hamel

Mika starts by saying “Humans are capable of flexible thinking and we do like to try new things. During his speech, Hamel said that it’s rather the organisational structures and habits that slow down our development and change. Try tearing down unnecessary structures and control and try to decrease bureaucracy.”

“Try to make change management as agile and as educational as possible. Make sure there is clear reasoning, a long-term focus, and understandable objectives in every change. And, ensure you understand what will not change” Juha highlights.

Johanna adds an important reminder from Sheila Heen’s speech “Be very clear of what you expect from people, from the very beginning.”

Mika ends by saying “Gary Hamel’s check-list for how to support innovation fits very well with supporting changes: make sure you have enough time, resources and commitment, a change-supporting budget and incentives, metrics for following the change execution, sufficient training and mentoring, and last but not least, enough fresh ideas and insights.”

The wisdom of the crowd is better than the of the few. 
– Gary Hamel

Hamel mentioned that innovation must start from the bottom, and usually it emerges from the operations. That’s why organisations need to be sensitive enough to be able to spot such opportunities, Johanna highlights.

Hamel also said, “To spot new opportunities, let’s harness our collective power for sensing the world around us”. He continued, “Let’s stay humble, treat our beliefs as hypotheses and ask others, what do you see that am I missing? Where am I mistaken?”

Mika fills in by saying “Remember to offer everyone ways to channel promising ideas and experiments further – both for change and for innovation”.

Katri add to the conversation: “To really join the change, people need to feel they’re able to contribute and have an impact. And you shouldn’t fear failure, instead see it as a valuable learning that helps sharpening the course. Both successes and failures are always shared.”

Find your strengths and harness them as opportunities. 
– Marcus Buckingham

Katri thinks that Buckingham’s ideas also work well with changes. “You really need to recognize what kind of an actor you are in changes” she continues.

Elina reminds us that strengths and weaknesses should be recognized both on team and organisational levels and that the whole organisation should pay attention to developing its collective strengths.

Mika and Katri agree that a change must be meaningful for people. It is important to find what makes the change particularly delightful and inspiring, as taking care of oneself is key in times of turbulence and change.

Allow people to control the amount of information that’s coming at them. 
– Susan Cain

During her speech, Susan Cain highlighted the interlink between personality and preferred ways of communications.

According to Elina, change communications should always offer different ways of engaging to suit as many personalities as possible. She mentions that change will not happen if people don’t get the chance to process it in a way that suits their rhythm and personality.

Auli concludes by saying “Change is all about the people – they either live the change or they don’t. Whether the people start doing things in a new way or not, is crucial. Change requires support on all organisational levels, all the way from leaders and managers to change agents and people experiencing the change in their everyday work. People are in the centre of the change as a whole: with their strengths, powers and weaknesses – this is the set of cards we’ve been given.”

Welcome to continue the change discussion on LinkedIn in Change Network Finland group.

CCEA was one of the main sponsors of Nordic Business Forum 2018 in Helsinki.

Photo: Gary Hamel at Nordic Business Forum.