Who Killed the Workplace? Suspect # 2: Change (NFN)

Commander Control seemed like our perp---right up until Nicole George shared her story.

Nicole has been waging battle for years against an insidious foe she knows only by its alias: “Change”. We thought Commander Control terrified employees, but even that dastardly villain was a rank amateur in the art of fear compared to the suspect Nicole described to us.

Why do people fear Change so much?

First, Change almost never appears without a thick fog of uncertainty. He upsets routines, destroys comfort, and causes chaos. Communications break down. No one knows how to act any longer. Tensions rise. This stresses teammates out and makes them dread their working hours until Change has passed.

One of the most bizarre aspects of this activity is that some people within every organization come to love Change. They enjoy the excitement when he's around, the thrill of operating on a highwire without a net, the way the status quo gets shaken up. They use his presence to implement their own agendas. They know that Change's nature is that he never sticks around and keep their eyes on the horizon.

Nicole confessed to being one of these people, although one with a heart for those who see the bad side of Change. She helps others navigate through the fog, minimizing the fear that comes in Change's wake.

Nicole advises a three-step approach to dealing with Change:

  1. Set an inspiring vision, a foglamp on the horizon.
  2. Give your teammates autonomy to make their own way toward the beacon---don't just grab them out of the fog in an attempt to guide them.
  3. Measure progress. Once people see they're proceeding toward their goal even more swiftly than expected before Change came upon them, they will pick up momentum, confidence, and speed. THIS will reduce their fear. At the end of their journey, they might even embrace Change!

That all sounds great, but I didn't earn a Detective's badge by being gullible. Can we trust a devoted agent of Change to be telling the truth regarding Change's innocence in the death of the workplace? I'm not so sure. Change has certainly been hanging around the place a lot more these past two years, enough so that Commander Control used Change as an excuse to tighten down even harder on the workplace. I find it hard to believe Change didn't play some role in the death of the workplace---perhaps only as an accomplice. Following Nicole's advice might be wise to keep whomever killed the workplace from killing again.