Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.

Strategic success into 2020 requires new social contracts with employees

In the transformational change that we support we are often asked (implicitly) to change the original ‘contract’ that employees ‘signed up for’. This immediately positions a before / after and opposition.

In organizations who take a more nimble approach, usually newer organizations and often technology-driven, this is less of an issue – why? My hypothesis is that the ‘social contract’ is different – more along the lines of ‘we have a culture of innovation’ i.e. the signal that change will come, frequently and often, is established as a part of the original agreement to work together. Yes, we deal with loss of control and fear of failure but within a completely different context from long established industrial-age cultures that presumed the original set-up would run forever (providing for life-time jobs, job security, etc, etc).

The world has changed forcing organizations to change more often and more quickly.  Organizations who do not update their ‘contracts’ with employees set themselves up for real resistance from the get go. The alternative is equally intimidating but far more sustainable.

Is it time to re-set the expectations of employees?  Do we have any other viable alternatives?

Related Posts:

Must we really look at organizational culture to get ROI and sustainability?

3 Comments so far
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I often run into an inverse equation here in the Silicon Valley. Since innovation is the mantra (and usually the true culture) change starts as a positive. The big problem then becomes the ability of structure, process and leadership to keep up employee willingness to change their behaviors.

The equation then is today and tomorrow not before and after.

Comment by Garrett Gitchell

That’s an excellent point Garrett. In those organizations that claim to have a “culture of innovation” the challenges would be different. Do you see change fatigue and change saturation? Can you share any tips / resources?

Comment by Gail Severini ©

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