“I told you 6 months ago this was the wrong approach and you just proved it”Jul 24, 2020
The last words you want to hear from the CEO of a huge global corporation as you sit in a Mumbai hotel lobby, hot and exhausted, after delivering a three day workshop. Through all the job insecurity, difficult bosses and mistakes, I wish I’d known that, not only was he wrong, but one day I would teach hundreds of Change Makers the mindsets, tools and methodologies to create successful and sustainable business change.
I treasure the peace that comes from knowing exactly who I am and why I’m here. After over fifteen years in the business of change, I’m confident saying there’s no business change I’m not equipped to tackle.
I don’t care about showing I’m personally right, but I do care about getting it right, and my suite of tools and methodologies do the job for businesses of any size and in any industry, when you know how to implement them.
Not only that, I’ve mentored and taught hundreds of Change Makers to implement solutions that create successful and sustainable change, and boost their impact and career at the same time. With The Change Maker Academy, the ripple effect is growing even bigger.
It wasn’t always this way though. In the beginning I doubted whether I was credible because I wasn’t a management consultant. I didn’t come from a big consultancy, but from delivering change on the ground. Moving from project to project, I worried whether I would ever be senior enough to be listened to.
If I went back even five years ago, I worried about where my next job was coming from and lacked some of the fundamental building blocks that make me the expert in change management I am now.
Change management can be overwhelming
I remember working on a huge global change project - the biggest I had run so far in my career - and struggling to scale my engagement model. I was brilliant at engagement, but usually with groups of twelve to fifteen people at a time; this project meant engaging with thousands of employees and I was intimidated; I couldn’t personally connect with all of them! How could I scale a solution?
I recall locking myself away in a tiny meeting room, just me and a white board (anybody who knows me knows my addiction to white boards). I scrawled every change management theory I could think of on this board until I had what looked like a dense forest of ideas in front of me. I spent five hours there trying to fight my way through the problem and ended up coming out with a solution I only fifty percent believed in.
I never want you to be in a room like that, alone in a forest of ideas and possible solutions, with no one to guide you.
I never want you to have to sit in a meeting with a CEO who is tearing apart your solutions with nothing to say to rescue your plans.
I never want you to worry about where your next job is coming from, or whether you can really deliver positive business change.
Gaining career momentum (despite the doubts)
Despite difficult bosses and challenging projects, I had enough successes (and learning from my failures) to know that my change management tools and methodologies worked for me - what I didn’t know is if they would work for others.
First I began sharing my methods with 1:1 mentoring clients and when they began to see success too, an idea began to form: could this be even more powerful by teaching larger groups of Change Makers?
I was determined to create a ripple effect by training others to deliver successful and sustainable change just as I had. But the first time I stood in front of a group of students, my resolve faltered and doubts surfaced:
Who am I to come up with a new methodology? I’m not an academic, who do I think I am?
What if I lose all credibility? Is this even going to work?
Do I really have it in me to get to the next level of my career? Am I overreaching? Will other, more qualified people laugh at me?
But I was blown away by the energy in that room; it was like little fireworks going off around me as ideas sparked.
That was the moment I realised just how valuable my knowledge and perspective is. Since then, I’ve taught over a hundred people and mentored dozens more one-to-one - from early-career Change Makers to established experts.
A mentor of mine recently told me she sees me as more of an expert now. As more and more people have shared their belief and trust in me, my impact and vision have grown and led me to create The Change Maker Academy.
Becoming a Change Maker
So how did I get here? What tangible steps did I take to become an expert in change management and an in-demand consultant in this field?
- I got clear on my big vision and mission - to fundamentally change the way we do business. When doubt creeps in, this is what keeps me moving forward.
- I tested my methodologies, classroom by classroom, pupil by pupil, mentee by mentee. Seeing them work in so many scenarios inspired me to reach even more people and create a whole tribe of Change Makers making a real difference in the world.
- I got the support I needed. I joined masterminds, hired coaches, built my network. Change Makers thrive off being around people who support their big vision and problem-solve with them. You cannot go it alone.
All of this combined helped me understand the value of what only I can do - especially in these times of great change.
That’s why I created The Change Maker Academy; to help other Change Makers make an impact, leave a legacy and get results in their projects and careers. Results like:
- Tony got promoted in the local authority where, within six months he moving from project manager to portfolio manager
- Sarah turned a failing change project around and within 30 days and continues to make massive impact in her projects
- Liz moved from one very specific aspect of change management to becoming a true leader of change and has never felt so fulfilled.
These aren’t one-offs - with the right support, self-belief, tools and methodologies, you can also become a leading Change Maker in your industry.
Do you want to be part of a tribe of Change Makers?
Do you want to make business change successful and sustainable?
Do you want to never worry about where the next job is coming from?
Then join Change Maker Academy before the doors close and you miss the opportunity to be on the front-line of business change in your industry. Join now: https://app.oakwoodmanagementconsulting.com/the-change-maker-academy
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