The Change Games

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It is taking people by storm.  Overwhelming, intrusive, and too much noise I’ve heard from a variety of people regarding this pivot we are all experiencing with the vast integration that technology is having in our day to day lives.

In the US, we are reminded of the familiar concept of competition with March Madness.  Yet we now see these concepts sliding into our crossfit (exercise) class  leaderboards our company  intranets and our personal applications.  I’ve see organizations taking these tournaments to new levels and allowing their divisions to compete against each other for charitable fundraising efforts or hackathons.

What I find ironic is that we have engineers leading technology programs who are great at what they do, but lack in the H2H strategy acumen.  So, why doesn’t HR have a seat at the table?  Why don’t the engineers invite them to the technology implementations?  Perhaps because our HR leaders don’t have the business acumen.  They grew up out of the transactional processing world and don’t have the field experience that allows them to truly understand what it takes to be a strategic business partner.  This is what haunts many great ideas that fall flat.  They lack thoughtful people strategies that look at the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators across these programs, not to mention integration into the diversity and inclusion mission.

My hope is that C Suite leaders hold their People Leaders accountable to embody this behavior themselves.  We ask our People / HR organizations to move from transactional into business partners who are change junkies and realize that the new world order has changed. 

Experienced designer and technologist Kristen Corpolongo stated, “From a creative technologist perspective Lauren brings up an excellent point. Have we begun to reflect on the irony that we are implementing collaborative technologies without engaging collaboration in the process?”  

Perhaps our organizational design structures haven’t evolved in tandem with the times?  Kristen shares that “we want our enterprise social networks to be successful, so we need to make our implementations social from day one, too. In our enterprise Change Games, we need to recognize that business is changing, the skills we need to have are changing, and that the process is more democratized than before. Innovation and creativity are not top-down cycles – they start by opening up to the diversity of thought in our organizations.”

Kristen recommends that “Engineers, designers, managers, and people leaders all belong at the forefront of social initiatives, and they need to look beyond the technology to the human factors that collaborative technology engages. Success in the Change Games begins with trust. Trust builds with consistency. Start with transparency, and coach your people leaders to share knowledge, build relationships, and honor the organic creative process in our enterprises and within themselves.”

Leadership and innovation are changing.  Harvard Business Review bloggers shared a Pixar innovation use case for their collective genius.  Leaders must look in the mirror to reflect on their own approaches while modeling the behavior if they expect their teams to innovate themselves.  So what are they waiting for?  Let the Change Games begin!

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