Can we really say Goodbye Change Management Hello Navigating Flux? In this piece we will look at the The 3 new competencies of success in modern business and society.
In the last 10 years there has been a lot written and spoken about change and change management. The fact that change is here and here to stay is understood. What is less recognised and accepted is that “change” implies a process. A change from state a to state b. From one stable state to another. It is time to say goodbye change management hello navigating flux.
Everyday work does not involve change management. That is for Change and transition projects. Every day work is not changing, it is in flux. A state of flux is where there is continual change. In business our environment as been like this since the year 2000. But many may have not noticed!
Navigating flux at work is like playing jazz – you need to learn to adapt and flow with each other
Jazz is characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm.
We need to understand the values and culture, and learn to flex in an ever dynamic environment.
Goodbye Change Management Hello Navigating Flux
I propose that we have moved beyond change management into navigating flux. The changes will be there, and each time we look at things they are different. this is flux. We need to learn how to navigate in such environments more effectively.
State of flux – a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action; “the flux following the death of the emperor” – source: thefreedictionary.com
We are in constant uncertainty. As a species, human look and seek stability. We live our life by learning habits. Learning what works and sticking with it. We need predictability if not in all our lives, then certainly in key parts. For many, in the past the workplace has provided a level of stability, of predictability.
The skills needed to operate in flux is different than in transition from one thing to another, this is an approach of a bygone age.
The working environment is continuously changing. We need to approach the world of work from a different perspective. We need to learn to be able to function and make progress when things are in constant change. When things are in flux. In the past we have learnt to DO things. We now need to learn to navigate around the environment and the activities we are expected to complete. With a situation and environment in flux, our ability to both cope and thrive in ambiguity becomes a game changer.
The new real core competency is managing ambiguity. In fact this is required in more “levels” and types of employees and contract workers than ever before.
The 3 new competencies of success
So what are the required #SkillsforTomorrow?
For many years I have been talking about managers and professionals needing only three core competencies. Almost everything else is behavioural or simple skills that can be quickly learnt:
- The ability to change
- The ability to learn
- The ability to build relationships
In recent months I have revised and updated this list of “new core competencies”:
- The ability to thrive in flux
- The ability (and willingness) to learn fast
- The ability to build and maintain relationships – face to face and online
I call these “Seeing 2020 competencies”
Dealing with high levels of ambiguity in a role can be a real challenge. Those that learn to thrive on this will survive.
Newer generations “now” mentality
The current generation have been brought up where MTV is in the slow lane. They seek to learn just-in-time. They do not need to put large amounts of process into medium to long term memory. They operate in the here and now.
This ability to operate with what is in-front of them is a survival advantage for them. But a risk to organisations. Where if they are not careful will end up having organizational memories shorter than the goldfish in a bowl!
As managers, leaders and organizational development professionals, we need to provide our workforce with the skills and tools to adapt. We also need to ensure that knowledge is retained in the organization. Strong knowledge management will help to avoid making the same mistakes year in year out.
The most competitive organizations will have effective and efficient networks of people, where knowledge and skills are captured, retained and most importantly made available in a format that is quick and accessible by every employee or agent.
Goodbye change management hello flux navigation