Adaptability solutions finessed by different ‘mixes’

Working in the change sector, I’ve come to brace myself whenever someone I hear someone has come up with THE BEST ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE MODEL – yes, all in capital letters.

After a cursory look I generally see a simplistic solution that is easy to sell, and completely unworkable when it comes to implementation or long term success.

Adaptability is not a simple field with one-size-fits-all solutions. It’s an old saying, but one worth repeating every time someone offers a simple bromide to fix what ails you – when something sounds too good to be true, it really is.

There are no prepackaged change solutions that work because no two organizations are alike. But the allure of a simple solution to a complex problem is nearly irresistible to many.

But you don’t start with  the  simple stuff and then get complex. The very first step is to to understand where the levers for change exist within a very complex environment.

I go back to my analogy of blending instruments in a recording mix.

How do you find and isolate which instrument is creating the noise within your mix? What is the person hearing that is making them play the way they are and making them perform out of step with the rest of the players?

Of course it could be incompetence. But let’s assume all the players are highly skilled professionals. In that case the reason for the problem isn’t the player, but rather the information that player is working from.

The problem is upstream and so is the solution.

In business it’s easy to drown out the problems by pushing them down in the mix while turning up the volume of something that seems to be working well.  But that doesn’t mean the problem is gone – we just don’t hear about it.

And it continues to bang away in the background.