Our Head of Product, Mick Lock, discusses how making sustainable change takes time.

Every job I’ve done, every business problem I’ve grappled with, every work change I’ve made – hidden in plain sight was one common underlying problem. We behave differently at work, mostly to the detriment of ourselves and our employer.

We don’t tell people what we really think.

We don’t do what we think we should really do.

We delay and prevaricate until we’re off the hook.

All of which meant teams I have been part of left things undone or took too long to deal with them.

That’s not a criticism of the teams I’ve worked in. I’ve been blessed enough to work with some amazing people. It’s just that work is a threatening environment. You are surrounded by people and forces that control your financial and emotional security.

It takes a lot to overcome that kind of threat. Especially when the evidence that it’s real keeps on piling up. It’s obvious to anybody who spends a decent length of time in an organisation how things get done around there.

To name but a few the way your leadership behave, the way your managers behave, the way your team behaves, the way your company explicitly and implicitly rewards those behaviours.

Remove all of these impediments, and you’ve still got to care enough to make the effort when getting things done in most organisations is incredibly hard, and when the risk of failure attacks your self-esteem and your work reputation.

And then you’ve got to believe that you can do it – that you have the skills and ability to do it. And if you can’t do it alone, then you need to convince others too.

““You’ve got to believe that you can do it - that you have the skills and ability to do it”

Mick Lock

Wow. It’s a wonder anything ever changes.

But it’s possible. Like every change, it starts with self-awareness. Whether you are a leader thinking at an organisational level, or as an individual, look for what you really want to happen – what motivates you and why – and investigate what’s stopping you behaving so that you ‘get it done’.

And keep trying – there’s too much in your way for change to happen overnight.