I always ask teams I work with to dig into the ‘5 Whys’ of a change project to discover the deeper reasons for wanting to make the change.
But when it comes to knowing why I am so driven to create a tribe of Change Makers, I’ve struggled to know the deeper answer.
The mentors I love and trust the most all have the most brilliant ‘Big Why’ stories behind their businesses. My business mentor, Gemma Went, supports women to build resilient businesses because she knows what it was like to be jobless and pregnant and having to do the work to create consistent revenue.
I don’t have some big, vulnerable story about what drives me to keep innovating, serving and changing how we do business.
Yes, I’m fed up of seeing businesses waste millions on change that doesn’t work.
Yes, I am relentless in my work because I see how many problems the world is facing and am passionate about finding solutions.
But if we’re really honest about why we work in change management, there’s usually a deeper motivation.
Gemma calls it ‘the why that makes you cry’ which you may think a little touchy-feely, but which I rather like.
Why does the world feel so broken and why are so many of our systems – business and otherwise – unfit for purpose?
Why are we so focussed on that which divides us, whether that's politics, gender, class, or race, instead of what unites us?
To me, it’s this fundamental challenge that offers the greatest opportunity for change, and it’s part of why the way I do work is founded on values of:
These aren’t just words on a website to make me sound good. They run through every single aspect of how I do business – as a consultant, a trainer, and as a company owner myself.
I know the power of bringing diverse perspectives together to come up with solutions.
In the change world we call that CO-CREATION, but the jargon isn’t important.
What’s important is that the solutions we create aren’t driven by ego but actually work to make the lives of people better.
I genuinely believe that all change is possible. I believe that we can fix every part of our world for the highest, greatest good of all.
This is not about me or my company. It's about finding a way of making change stick, together.
But I get frustrated by our inability to work together, because my whole journey has been about setting ego and the need to be right aside.
At school I loved science and maths. I wanted to be a doctor more than anything.
But I was called arrogant and too clever by half. I was told that it's not cool to care so much.
Constantly being told that my ambitions and passions were a negative thing, meant I started to think maybe it would be safer to hide.
In fact I was so scared of being too clever, too arrogant and too much that I started to play it down.
From 13-years-old I pretended I was less than I was and sabotaged my success, underperforming in my GCSE’s, my A-levels, my medical school interviews and at University, which I failed twice.
The truth is that it was more important for me to be popular than it was for me to use my intelligence, problem-solving skills and interests to their fullest.
Hiding away parts of yourself in a bid to fit in and be liked is like wrapping yourself up in layer upon layer of varnish; they're quick to put on, but bloody hell, they take a long time to take off.
All those layers meant I became someone else entirely. The real Emma was still in there somewhere, but over the years I had lost her more and more.
The turning point was when my first company crashed through the floor. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking, "I have no idea who you are, lady." I was behaving in a way I didn't recognise and it didn't feel real.
It took me years of inner work to peel back all those layers. That’s why authenticity is so important to me.
I spent too long trying to convince these people I'm like them or trying to be included in that crowd by pretending I’m something else. It’s exhausting!
Have you ever felt like you need to hide parts of yourself to get ahead at work?
I want to change that, because the best solutions come when we work together.
The truth is we can only play bigger and fulfil our potential when we are willing to step into the space of true authenticity, and you can only be truly authentic if you truly know who you are.
The world is facing huge problems that require us to come together to solve. I for one want to be part of the solution – what about you?
Now is the perfect time to make your mark in the rapidly changing world of business. Your skills have never been so in-demand…
But I know you’re getting tripped up by some frustrating old problems.
Join my free training and coaching series to Make Change Stick where we go deeper on:
🌳 Why the old perspectives and methodologies don’t cut it in such an unstable and unpredictable landscape (and the new ones you need now)
🌳 Why your engagement is failing AND the 5 groups you have to engage if you want to spike your success rate by 83%
🌳 How you can avoid the top 5 Change Killers ☠️ that stop change sticking
BUT most importantly:
🌳 Exactly how to achieve successful, sustainable change in a fast-moving world so you can finish 2020 strong and get ready to make 2021 the year your change projects (and career) soar.
See you on the inside! https://change.oakwoodmanagementconsulting.com/
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