2019 – What a year! A look back on the year

It’s been one helluva year, hasn’t it? From global events such as the Christchurch Massacre in March that changed New Zealand forever and impacted on so many around the world, to the fire that destroyed Notre-Dame, and the serial bomb blasts that rattled the Sri Lankan capital. From Kim Jong Un meeting with US President Trump to the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

We saw Teresa May resign, Brexit delayed (again), Hong Kong protests commence (and still continue) along with an abundance of political activity in the USA (with the Mueller report and impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump). And we saw global strikes organised by children on climate change.

Australia was not exempt from its share of events. From the Royal Commission into Banking where we saw CEOs and Chairs resign and recommendations to change the banking industry forever, to Cardinal George Pell being sentenced to six years in prison. We saw Scott Morrison’s Liberal/National Coalition Government being re-elected unexpectedly and Uluru being closed to climbing.

And we are still seeing major events, like the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety interim report being tabled in Parliament and the bushfires in NSW, WA, SA and QLD (along with a week-long state of emergency in New South Wales.)

On a personal note, both Max and Louise lost their fathers this year, and our clients had major events in their lives as well – from relatives passing away, health scares, job moves and challenging times at work.

We started this blog by going back through the many “2019 Change Management Predictions” articles, blogs and posts that came out at the beginning of the year. Thank goodness, we are good with change!

Predicting what will happen is a hit and miss business. In fact, many predictions made at the start of the year have not come to fruition. There is little point rushing to achieve what was predicted, rather, there is risk that the prediction is just servicing the needs of the predictor. 2019 was going to be the year that “Agile”, “Digital” and “Customer-Centricity” became the focus of most changes.

As 2019 draws to a close, we thought it might be worthwhile to reflect on the year that was 2019 before we start to plan for 2020 and to share our reflections with you. As we wind up the year and take a break, this will be on our minds for 2020:

  1. Change is constant – We didn’t come up with this, but we know it is true. The thing is there are ways to get through change – the right way, the easy way or the hard (wrong) way. Knowing the difference is key.
  2. People matter the most – In just about any change, the majority of outcomes rely on people doing things differently. In other words, people give you your results. It’s how we manage the change for people that’s important. The work that is needed to get people ready for change.
  3. Change isn’t easy and there are no shortcuts – getting change right takes time. It doesn’t just start and stop when we want it to and trying to rush to the finish line doesn’t end well either. Change management certainly isn’t something that can be bolted on at the last minute as a quick after thought or tick-the-box activity.
  4. Don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater – Your organisation and its people have a lot of knowledge and skills, have experienced even more and have plenty to offer. Harness this in the right way. It’s amazing the difference engaging staff can make in getting a more positive response to change – and the number of great ideas and suggestions we’ve seen resulting from this engagement.
  5. Working with great clients is what gets us out of bed every day – As much as we love what we do, it has been the amazing and wonderful people we have been fortunate to work with this year that has fulfilled us the most. It has put both the motivation and fun into working in change. So, to those people in particular, we’d like to say a big THANK YOU. Hopefully, we’ve made a difference to your organisation, but rest assured you’ve made a huge difference to us.

We also thought it might be worthwhile repeating a paragraph from one of our earlier blogs –

“Change in business isn’t usually a case of life or death. However, even though people know it’s inevitable (as effective change practitioners we have hopefully prepared them as best we can for what is to come), are they ever truly ready for the reality of it? We shouldn’t underestimate the impact the change will have. What support systems do you have in place post-change to support people? And when that inevitable change happens and you find you’re not as good with it as you thought – be kind to yourself and realise that things take a long time to change quickly.”

Thank you for your support this year. We look forward to working with you in 2020 as you embark on your next change adventure.