Are your plans working? Or are they more like New Year’s resolutions?
We all know New Year’s resolutions. One wants to exercise more, the other wants to spend more quality time with the family. Or settle the battle with the scales in your favor once and for all. There are too many to mention. And almost everyone does it or has done it at some point. And we also ask each other about it. It always comes up for discussion at the New Year’s or Christmas drink. So there’s a definite moment when everyone feels like it’s now or never. Now I have a chance to carry out that intention, that plan.
Why specifically at New Year’s. Normally you can make such resolutions throughout the year. That is true, but the holiday period is a time when major choices are made. Decisions are then made. The holidays, just like the summer holidays, are the time to take a break and think things over. At those moments we have more time than usual to think about how we stand in life. It’s time to reflect on the big things in life. In private, people often look at their relationship or where they stand. “Is this what I’ve always dreamed about?”, “Do I want to spend the next x years like this?”. And in business, people often ask themselves the same questions. As a result, there is a new boost at home or at work or a radical choice is made. The dark days leading up to the holidays certainly also contribute to this. The choice to make a kind of new beginning with a new year is then obvious.
But then the theory has to be put into practice. And often everything turns out to be a bit more difficult than expected in reality. Often after some time, or a few weeks, many people give up. Blue Monday is often cited in the media as the time when we are most depressed by dark days and cold (at least in the northern hemisphere), and many people are also disappointed in not being able to keep up with their resolutions. Blue Monday itself could well have been conceived by smart travel salesmen to take us to the sun, but that does not alter the fact that many resolutions have fallen around this 3rd Monday of January.
Let’s jump to the work environment for a moment and compare the above good intentions with the plans for changes. A major change or project is preceded by extensive consideration. Take a good look inside to see what is going well and what should change. A bit like the reflection during the holidays. Come up with a plan and choose a starting moment. The big kick-off is festive like the New Year’s moment. And then after the party, reality sets in. Then it has to happen. Very often you then have to monitor, implement, motivate, et cetera the desired change on your own. And instead of the interesting questions before you started: “Do you have any good intentions?”, “What are your plans?”, you hear many more questions why you are still going through with it. Or what actually is the point of all effort. In short, the support has turned into a form of demotivation. Now it’s time to wait, fortunately not that long, for the towel to come in the ring. And again you and the team are one illusion poorer. Yet both intentions and plans do not have to fail. It’s a myth that people don’t want to change. Just like that change always evokes resistance. Everything stands or falls with proper preparation and good guidance. Why? Because the change is not an isolated process. Meanwhile, the organization continues. This means that the normal course of events causes noise in the change, but the change itself also disrupts the daily course of business. A balance must be found in this. Everyone needs to know what’s going on and when. Call it a form of expectation management. It certainly has to do with that. We literally map out the entire change, together with the regular processes. In order to create a change journey for all those involved. As a tour guide, we take everyone along in the transition from A to B. We mainly focus on the transition itself with all the emotions, expectations, pluses and minuses.
For a successful change, don’t go alone. Take a guide or coach with you. An external supervisor who motivates you in case of setbacks and pats you on the back when you are successful. We are involved outsiders in such a process. Committed to working closely with you to make the transition a success. Outsiders, which has the advantage that we ourselves do not get into the emotion and may block it. External also has the advantage that hierarchy or history does not affect our advice.
We keep going so that there is no Blue Monday moment. If we make a change together with you, we will continue until the desired result. That makes it a complete change. And we prevent an action that not more once in a blue moon. Do you want to know more about how we can help you in change and take all people with you? Do not hesitate to call me or Mirjam. We are happy to help you.
More about group dynamics and change in
the blocks (chapters) “to communicate” and “to visualize” in our book Cement (in Dutch)
Edwin is not just a visionary expressed through his longreads, but also adept at conveying his ideas through presentations and real-world client interactions. He is a lover of Scandinavia and that's noticeable. Through an array of examples and metaphors, his infectious enthusiasm becomes a catalyst for inspiring, motivating, and fostering connections among individuals. Collaborating closely with his wife and partner, Mirjam, Edwin leads individuals through periods of change. Their shared mission revolves around forging impactful connections – connections that ignite leadership inspiration, foster team cohesion, and catalyze organizational transformation.
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