Edwards Inspire

Blue and grey Edwards Inspire company logo with a beautiful blue butterfly representing digital transformation

Emotions are the missing piece of the puzzle if you want your company change to be and remain successful

Why? You may ask, well, the short answer is……….

We are human beings and we can either work with each others emotions and potentially end up being an extremely powerful force for change, or we can ignore each others emotions, (your teams, your employees, your stakeholders, your customers), and well, let the company change fail.

As, sorry to inform you, but there is no getting away from our emotions, well, unless it’s now 2222 and we’re now all reconstructed AI’s, then, maybe.

A young lady showing many different expressions of emotions from joy, frustration, intrigue through to exhaustion, uncertainty to love

I may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m someone’s. I say this, as I use my emotions and my connections to my emotions to make a difference in what I do and how I drive change within the corporate world

And believe me, a lot of my previous colleagues would not have taken this approach, especially considering I started in the IT space 20 (cough cough) something years back. 

And it’s been a view and a way of working that’s been hard to maintain at times, especially given that typically, logic, has been the main driver for digital transformation, company change or any form of IT projects in the past. And considering how people felt, wasn’t the top priority, in fact, in my field, it has  regularly since as a weakness.  

In fact, I remember being told I needed to learn to be a “ball breaker”, less feeling, more masculine, especially as a senior woman I needed to be “tougher” on the team to drive results, it’s so funny thinking about it now. Luckily, this was 10 odd years back and things have evolved a bit since then.

but, even to this day, I am faced with responses of…….

oh, yep, we look at the “fluffy stuff” later

And, to those that shall remain nameless, mainly because there has been too many to mention over the years….

this “fluffy stuff” has seen me be successful time and time again, not because I embrace myself and my own emotions. But, because I let others do the same and when you do that, not only, do you get connected and engaged teams, you actually might create a few friends along on the way

oh, and yep, it also typically means your change is going to be successful. So a win on all counts

How can our emotions actually help us when it comes to company change?

Nearly a completely white puzzle with one exception, there is a gap titled ¨change´ and the puzzle piece ready to be slotted in is called ¨emotion’s¨

I know from my own experience that not only do emotions have a place within the corporate environment, they are the fundamental missing piece of the puzzle.

That’s why I started Edwards Inspire, I would love to say it’s because I’m so clever and experienced (and yes, I do know my stuff in this area), but it’s the realisation that my successes; 

All the projects; all the business transformations; the culture changes; and creating the team “can do” morale, have all come from my ability to tap into our emotions and identify how they are effecting change;

Not knowing; the lack of confidence; fear of “being found out”, or not being in control; or the huge “what if” factor. 

through to putting activities in place that transition our feelings, our mindset too;

A fighting spirit; the I don’t know yet, but will figure it out; or the wanting to be the best I can be.

But, how do I really know it's emotions that made the difference?

Since my early days in my career, I seemed to be extremely good in disaster recovery situations (this was never my initial intent, I just always ended up here). My mum used to call me a “troubleshooter” someone that goes in when everything is “wrong” and turns it all around. And when I look back, that’s exactly what I did, whether it was my “official” job role or not. I turned things around from;

Whole business units that were going under, due to loss of morale; or losing their jobs; Companies losing their major clients, so they need to identify new business opportunities; too companies that needed to change their complete operating model.

A head with a puzzle miss missing, but completed by the wonderful heart puzzle underneath

It wasn’t a plan of mine to “fix” the emotions, nor if I’m honest, was I always fully aware that’s what I was doing. I personally thought it’s because I was so skilled (our ego is an amazing thing 🙂 ) at embedding different “tangible” and logical frameworks. Which I can do & I still think  are needed, but when I looked back at what I achieved and continue to achieve, I realised that my successes were not due to these frameworks, but to the positive impact I had on the emotions associated with the change. 

Turning “go slow” fear based emotions to positive “can do” attitudes that truly support and drive the continued momentum for company change

And I actually don’t think I would have been successful without this emotional impact, as it’s been my differentiating factor in how I’ve seemed to be successful (in many different change situations), where other very skilled and extremely talented colleagues have struggled.

We still need logic & frameworks for company change, just not at the expense of our emotions

I do think our logical change plans and frameworks are needed, they can help prove our tangible results, build confidence within others and create a “feel good factor” when you naturally identify with seeing the measurable results in change.

But, and this is the big but, we might be able to go without change frameworks to implement a successful change within a company, it might not be pretty, especially in a big company, but we can never go without our own emotional changes if we want the change to embed and be sustainable.

As we’re human beings and as human beings, we have emotions. And to ignore our emotions, especially at a time of change, in my mind, is the same as saying “I like my approach of hitting my head against the wall”. Sorry for sounding cheeky, what I’m trying to say is, you can try 101 different logical frameworks and plans, but it’s not your frameworks that make that sustainable difference.

We may have a comfort level in our logic, hence it can be our go to response, but it should never be at the expense of the emotional changes that are needed. Our emotions are not our “weakness” they are our amazing strength to ride out any change, to concur an adversity, to feel empowered and go forth even when everything is “unknown”.

Logic gives us the ability to put numbers to paper and to create a plan, but it’s our own emotions that give us the strength & resilience to make this plan a reality.

So next time you’re creating your change plan, ask yourself, what do you need in place to support your emotional changes?