What Does, “I Want To Be Better” Mean?


Many of us strive to be better; be it as a spouse or partner, leader, student, athlete, writer, employee or otherwise. We might have our sights set on eating better; perhaps living better generally. The word, ‘better’ though, while one we might toss about with widespread agreement from those within earshot as a laudable goal, doesn’t necessarily assure a widespread shared understanding. What I mean is, your definition of, ‘better’ might not be the same as those who hear your words.

Now I’m an Oxford Dictionary fan when it comes to definitions, so in turning there I find this definition when used as an adjective:

Better: More appropriate, advantageous, or well advised. More desirable, satisfactory, or effective.

Okay, so how does this square with how you define the word, ‘better’? Now you may be wondering at the benefit of reading a post devoted to the term, ‘better’ and coming to understand or revisit what it means to be better. Your time may be well spent though as sometimes the wisest thing to do is look at the simplest of things.

You want to be better at your job let’s suppose. Maybe you even go so far as to announce at your team meeting that you’ve set this as your personal goal. If you’re bold enough or in a position of influence or leadership, you might even propose that the team strive to be better as a unit. You know, one of those, “As good as we are we can and must be better” kind of speeches. I’ve given these myself in the past. Where I failed however, was not so much in communicating that we must be better, but rather coming to a shared understanding of what ‘better’ meant.

Looking back at that definition above, here again are the words defining ‘better’:

  • more appropriate
  • more advantageous
  • more well advised
  • more desirable
  • more satisfactory
  • more effective

Alright, so pick what resonates or fits best with what  you’re after. If having a team that is more well advised is going to make the team and every member of it more effective and bring about more desirable results, maybe this is what you mean by using the term, ‘better’.

Using this as a starting place, the question then becomes how does the team become better advised? To be better advised works from a premise that some learning is required to stay abreast of what may be best practices. As we know, there are many examples of where people and companies worked hard to become leaders in their fields of expertise and then sat on their laurels, ceased to engage in continuous learning and over time, lost their place as front runners and industry leaders. Younger, hungrier people and organizations usurped them from their places because they explored, risked, embraced turbulence and entertained innovation.

What has this got to do specifically with you though? Well, on the simplest of terms, are you striving to be better? As an person in your organization or as a team member or representative of the company, are you aiming to perform at the same level of competence and give the same level of customer service, or do you see room for improving upon what you now deliver?

If you’re goal is improve and become better, I suppose you need to find in what way(s) or in what area(s) you see room for improvement. Note that it’s likely the very area(s) in which you find ways you could be better may also present challenges for you. In other words, you may know what you need to do to become better but it will require work; hard work perhaps, to get there. Hard work as you likely know, stops most people from even starting – especially if they don’t see immediate returns on the investment to become better.

It is for this very reason that a person contemplating a return to school knows that getting a degree would be highly beneficial and they’d be better able to compete for a job they want, but the work involved stops some before they start. “I don’t know, it’s three years…and I don’t know if I want to spend the time.”

To become better however, a person has to begin with an acknowledgement that better is possible. It may be that things are fair for the time being, but to be better involves the necessity of change. Some kind of new opportunity; an exposure to something new, be it an idea, technology, a philosophy or method of service delivery perhaps; but change in some way comes about.

So do you want to be better and if so, in what areas of your personal or professional life? Are you after a better job, a better income, a better lifestyle or becoming a better co-worker maybe? What you wish to become better at is entirely up to you.

The cost of stagnating and ceasing to become better could mean at its worst, the end of your job, a relationship, your marriage, your career or business. Many businesses fail because they failed to market themselves better and didn’t connect with the buyers in the marketplace.

If you’re an individual wanting to be better, assess your skills, experience and what you’ll need in the future vs. what you have now. Starting sooner than later is good advice.

How would you like to be better?

Behavioural Change Brought On With Unemployment


I feel a lot of empathy for you if you’re unemployed and really motivated to find work. Having had times in my life when I’ve been out of work I know personally the ups and downs of job searching with little success until that moment of euphoria comes when you hear the words, “We’re offering you a position”.

The interesting thing about being unemployed is that it’s both the lack of employment and the lack of income that while related, force us to make changes in behaviour; to do things differently than we’ve done. It’s these changes in behaviour that elevate our stress levels. Understanding this can and does help immensely.

For starters, very few people actually look for employment when they are employed. If you are the exception, I’ll still bet you don’t go about looking for another job with the same level of intensity that you would were you entirely out of work. After all, your motivation for wanting a different job than the one you have at the moment is more for personal satisfaction or happiness, wanting to accelerate your career or to build on your current income. The work you do in your current job provides some level of income however, and so if you feel tired when you can finally turn to looking for work, you feel no hesitation to put off seriously looking for another day without guilt. There is much less urgency.

When you’re out of work completely, things change out of necessity. Suddenly you find yourself having no choice but to engage skills that might be rusty or completely foreign to you. Writing cover letters, thank you notes, lining up references, networking for leads, composing resumes, marketing yourself. You may not have had to do these things for a while and you might not find these things pleasant, so you haven’t invested any real-time in keeping up with latest trends in job searching or what employers want.

Secondly there’s the change in income or rather your change in behaviour that has to happen when your income changes. You can either keep spending like you’ve been used to and you’ll increase your personal debt, or you have to cut back and save where you can. Saving money and spending only what you have to is a change in behaviour that can add to your stress. Maybe you drop the social dinners out on Friday nights, start clipping coupons, drop the 3 coffees a day at your local café and only use the car when it’s necessary to save on fuel.

These two changes regarding your spending and having to engage in job search activities are both necessary and both things you’d typically like to avoid having to do. Here then is the reason for the stress; unwanted but necessary activity you begin to engage in.

While I acknowledge that we are unique in many ways, it is also fair to say that in many ways, most of us share similar feelings when out of work. We might feel embarrassment, shame, a lack of pride etc. and want to keep our unemployed status from friends and extended family. If we could only get a new job in a week or so we could then tell people that we’ve changed jobs. We do this of course because we want to save face, protect our ego, avoid worrying over what others might think of us and wanting to keep our relationships as they are. We worry they might re-evaluate us, think poorer of us, maybe even disassociate themselves from us. Ironic then that while worrying about possibly being disassociated with us many unemployed isolate themselves from social contact.

But I get it. When you’re unexpectedly out of work, you have really two options; get job searching immediately with intensity or give yourself a reasonable period in the form of a mental health break. This time might be good for grieving the loss of your job, venting the anger and bitterness until you can focus better on looking forward not back. You don’t want a trigger of some sort to suddenly have you spewing out venom towards a previous employer in a job interview after all.

When you’re ready to focus on looking for a new role, ask yourself as objectively as you can if you have the necessary skills to job search successfully. You might be good in your field of work, but are you as highly skilled as you need to be in marketing yourself? How are your interview skills ? Are you in uncharted waters or have you kept your résumé up-to-date?

I understand that job searching ranks pretty low on most people’s list of enjoyable activities. It’s understandable then that if you too don’t love job searching, you’ve done little to invest any time or money in honing your skills in this area. Suddenly of course, you hope the skills you do have will see you through.

You’re in a period of transition and you’ll feel a range of emotions. You’ll get frustrated, maybe even educated on how things have changed since you last looked for a job. You’ll feel demoralized perhaps and hopefully encouraged at times too. It’s the broad swings of emotions, raw and real that can catch you unprepared. These are normal when you are forced to deal with change out of necessity.

 

 

 

Want A Better Life?


Last night while talking with my wife, she shared a comment that someone she knows often makes. The fellow said, “I’ve had a lot happen in my life.” This, apparently is what he says as a way of both explaining why his life isn’t that good and why it won’t get better either. Like people all over the world, this fellow has had his share of challenges, but it’s like he wears his as a badge of honour not choosing to actually make some changes and do things in the here and now that will alter his future for the better.

It struck me then as it does now, that it might be useful to talk about how to go about improving the future; your future. After all, it’s a safe bet you’d like yours to get better whether your past and present have been a series of disasters or quite good. There are some, many I suppose who actually like chaos and disappointment but let’s look to focus on making life a better one in the future for you.

So here’s some ideas to get you started. Share these with anyone you feel might benefit from reading them with my thanks.

  1. Change has to happen. If you want a different future than your past or present change must occur so see making changes as a good thing. This will take some getting use to and it may be uncomfortable at times when you do things differently. However, expecting a better future when you keep doing what you’ve always done hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. Welcome changes.
  2. Make better decisions. Those changes I spoke of in point 1 can only happen if you make different decisions than you’ve typically made. The key is not only to make different decisions but better decisions. Again, these better decisions won’t always be easy or comfortable but you want a better life right?
  3. Take responsibility. This is your life, and it’s made up of your decisions in the past, the present and the future. Stop blaming your parents, family and friends, former bosses and co-workers for what life has ‘done’ to you. Stop giving them power over you and admit this is your life to live and yours to make. That’s empowering and with that power comes responsibility and accountability.
  4. Get help. If you had the necessary skills to make better decisions, it’s highly likely that you would have done so right? Yet, here you are wanting things better than they are which indicates you need some guidance and advice when it comes to both making those choices and support on the follow through.
  5. Move on. The thing about the past is that it is…well…the past. You can’t go back there, you can’t live there. Move on. Try walking forward down a sidewalk with your head facing backwards and you’ll run into a lot of obstacles. Turn your eyes forward and you can avoid those collisions. Look forward in life and move on.
  6. Learn and not re-live. Making the same mistakes over and over and re-living the errors of your ways isn’t productive. When things go wrong – and they will – learn what you can from the experience with the goal of making better decisions in the future when you find yourself in similar situations.
  7. Eliminate temptations. You might have good intentions but fall to temptations if you don’t remove yourself from what’s caused you problems up to now. So it could mean dropping friends who are bad influences, moving from a bad neighbourhood, clearing the house of the alcohol or the chocolate and fatty foods. You have to want your end goal more than your temporary fix.
  8. Set Goals. Know what you want in this better future you imagine. Picture that job, the ideal partner, a better apartment or condo, a clear complexion, a new set of teeth, no criminal record. Whatever it is, set a goal; maybe several that are meaningful to you personally.
  9. Develop plans. Goals don’t turn into reality without some planning. Again, get some help from someone you trust. Start with one of your long-term goals and come up with a plan that will eventually cut the things getting in your way of having this better future. Big problems will take time and a lot of effort. Small problems are easier addressed. Both big and small need attention.
  10. Commit to yourself. You’re going to have setbacks, make some spur of the moment decisions you regret but don’t pack in the, “I want a better future”, plan. When you have a setback, re-commit to yourself what you’re working towards and focus on what you’ve accomplished so far.
  11. Forgive. A big one. Don’t carry hate, anger and bitterness around with you because it’s not attractive, certainly doesn’t help you and always hinders you. Let it go and forgive those who harmed you, set you back, let you down and disappointed you. This is your life not theirs; you’re forgiving them because YOU’VE moved on.

Look it’s not going to be easy and few things in life that are worth having are. In fact, ‘easy’ hasn’t been your past life has it? Nor your current life? So, ‘easy’ has nothing to do with it. Yep, you’re going to have to work for what you want and all that’s going to do is make you proud of yourself when you get it. It’s your call.

A Better Frame Of Mind


Whether you’re out of work and looking for a job; feel trapped in your current one and are looking at a transfer or promotion, or yes even burnt out and counting the days to retirement, do a self-check on your state of mind.

You see how you feel is no doubt being picked up by those around you, those you meet, and those you work with now. How do you want to be perceived and viewed and most importantly is the way you want to be viewed by others close to how you feel?

It is a good practice to do a self-check from time-to-time no matter how you feel. For example, when you’re working doing your job, try to keep the same expression on your face and get to a mirror. Without relaxing any facial muscles, smiling or changing in any way, look at your face reflecting back at you. What do you see? Are there furrowed brows, crease lines on your forehead, droopy eyelids or a frown? What does you face communicate to you as you look at yourself.

As you stand there, change a little at a time. Add a smile, relax your jawbones or stop clenching your teeth. Breathe out and in deeply a few times and then re-examine the face in the mirror. Does it now seem different to you and if so in what way? If it does, why does your, “I’m in the middle of work” face look different from your, “I am consciously relaxing” face?

Most importantly, does your face communicate openness and do you seem approachable? Or does your face send the message that everyone should steer clear of you? If you’re trying to position yourself for that promotion or transfer, it might help your cause to look positive, engaged, pleasant and approachable. Remember that positive people generally like surrounding themselves with others who are positive. If you go around looking hostile, burnt out or miserable most of the time, you just might attract others who look like you do; misery does like company. The danger here is that once surrounded by others who are negative, you might find yourself much more miserable and having a dour outlook on things you once felt positive about.

Reminding yourself that you, as a member of the organization which employees you have a role to play in keeping the culture and atmosphere a positive one is critical. Too many times I’ve listened to unhappy employees blame Management for the rotten atmosphere they say they work in. We all have a part to play in making our workplaces an enjoyable place to work, and while it can be the case that some others just seem to look for reasons to be negative, you need not be one of them.

One thing you can do with respect to your self-check is compare how you feel about your job on a typical work day with your time away from work. Do you feel anxious the day before you return to work or do you look forward to going into your job? While you don’t have to love the work you do with giddy infatuation, you should certainly enjoy the job and being around most of those you work with as you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time working surrounded by these people. If you’re not happy most of the time, if you don’t feel inspired or feel that your work is meaningful, why are you still dragging yourself in? Look around, life is too short to spend it in misery. Start planning your departure from this line of work or employer, and then be gracious when you leave for something better.

Now if you’re out of work, you’ve got to work hard at projecting your demeanor; coming across as someone who will have a positive influence in a new employer’s workspace. If you are brooding, look frustrated, look far too serious and weighed down with personal issues, it’s unlikely you’re coming across as attractive to those who might be in a position to hire you.

Of course when you’re unemployed and need to work you are under stress. The anxiety of mounting financial liabilities and any shame or embarrassment you might be experiencing by being unemployed can be a burden for sure. Add in some other stressors in your personal life and it gets harder to constantly project that rosy exterior that says, “Life is good and I’m glad to be a part of it!”

Yes I get that. You need to understand or perhaps be reminded that your issues are exactly that – your issues. Potential employers don’t really concern themselves with resolving your issues because they have no investment in you until you join their ranks. To join their ranks, you and I both know you have to come across as qualified, experienced and a personal good fit; meaning you have to be attractive in some way.

So, mind what you think and how what you think is being communicated non-verbally through your facial expressions and your body language. Move with confidence, smile more – even if in the early days you find yourself having to force this trial period. Like most habits one tries to change, alter or adapt to, things become more matter of fact and routine the more you do them.

And you’re never fully dressed without a smile!

Your Day Just Got Changed? Adapt!


So the scene is this: you arrive at work and spend the first 10 minutes getting organized and then just as you plunge into your work for the day, the boss pops around and due to an unforeseen absence on the team, you’re duties change for the duration of the day. Two equally important questions for you; what’s your immediate reaction and does it show?

Despite what we may believe or like to believe about authority figures in the workplace, no the boss does not typically spend their commute into work wondering what they can do to sabotage your day. In fact, their probably just as frustrated having to change people’s work assignments for the day because that means work isn’t getting done by someone –in this case you; work that needs to be done or you wouldn’t have planned on doing it.

What a good supervisor does do is first think about what takes priority for the day and then who is most appropriate to change their schedule causing the least overall disruption to the team. Of course on a micro level it’s you being 100% disrupted which is the cause of any initial annoyance you might experience.

So let’s look at those two questions I posed to you; what’s your immediate reaction and does it show? Any supervisor that asks or directs you to change your daily plans and work on something else knows it will come as a surprise. What they are hoping for is that you trust them enough that the decision they have made has been thought out before asking you, and that you’ll make the change in your plans with a positive attitude. The last thing they’ll need or want is for you to dig in your heels and go kicking and screaming throughout your day. Remind yourself that you’re getting paid all through the day whatever the work is and in the bigger picture apparently someone needs to cover the work of the absent person so the faster you shift your focus and attitude, ultimately the better for you.

Now me, I personally have this happen once or twice a month. I’m on a team of 10 Employment Counsellors; 8 at my location and 2 in another. Years ago I admit I’d be flustered whenever we’d have an absence and I’d have to cover some workshop for an absent co-worker. It’s not like you just walk in the class and everything is smooth sailing. It means quickly getting your resources together that you have in various files, finding out if the person had a schedule all planned out on their desk or not and in the case of an ongoing workshop, you try to not disrupt the flow of information with an entirely different style or covering information you’d like to introduce but isn’t on the agenda.

I’ve come to shift quickly actually over time. Now when I am told someone is away, I actually look at the calendar, quickly size up who is most available to cover the absence with the least disruption to those at work, and if it’s me, I actually volunteer to replace the absent person for the day. If it’s not me, I offer a suggestion to the supervisor about how the absence could be covered moving others around. Hey, it’s just a suggestion, and my supervisor has come to listen to those suggestions because her trust in me mirrors my trust in her. She knows I wouldn’t disrupt the day of a colleague just to plow on with my pre-planned day.

The second question has to do with letting your feelings show. So when you’re given news that your planned day is out the window and you’ve got different duties for the day, despite the fact it can be upsetting, do your best not to roll your eyes, sigh heavily and then get all bent out of shape and start arguing. You’re doing something different and the faster you come around to that point of view the better it will be for everyone – most notably yourself. In fact, if you can make the adjustment with an observable positive attitude, that could come back to help you more than hurt you in the future. Supervisors like staff that can roll with change when they are negatively impacted. So you may find their thanks get extended by letting you go early another day, backing you up in a team meeting with more enthusiasm or possibly some kind of work incentive.

Remember too that whenever you are told that your work is changing for the day, from the minute you’ve been informed, you’ve now got precious time to use to get ready for whatever lies ahead. Whether it’s preparing to lead a workshop like me, or going over client accounts so you’re prepared for those face-to-face meetings, the sooner you get going the better for you.

You may lament to a co-worker in private your frustration for the days change; but do it out of the sight of your supervisor. Sure you can say it’s frustrating but say it’s okay too. Explain what you had planned to do if the supervisor was unaware and ask for time at a later day to catch up or for a junior person to do what they can to help you out.

When you adapt to change you increase your worth; solve a supervisor’s problem and you avoid becoming one.

Are You Contemplating A Leap?


Something interesting suddenly struck me recently and I wonder if you too have had a similar experience; possibly like me, you weren’t entirely aware of it yourself. Or it could be that I’m just realizing it myself and slow getting to the dance!

What I’ve become aware of is a large number of the conversations I’ve been a part of, and the musings I’ve read of others centers on men and women in their late 40’s and early to mid-50’s who are openly contemplating exactly what to do with the balance of their working lives. Now in retrospect it may not be a new phenomenon.

The difference I suppose is that historically there were fewer types of jobs to choose from in the past. With fewer choices available, most people who hadn’t reached retirement had a choice between the jobs they currently had and doing a similar job for another company or becoming an entrepreneur themselves. Most you understand stayed with companies for decades and it was the norm to retire from these employers.

Fast-forward to 2016 and there are more jobs being created than ever before. Technology alone as a single sector has created job titles that didn’t exist just a few months before. Go back a generation and there are even more jobs that didn’t exist because the environment was different. There were no Information Technology jobs because the technology hadn’t evolved to the state it is today, and home computers didn’t even exist.

The consequence of more types of jobs existing today is that there are more choices than ever from which to choose. Add to this that because we are living longer than in the past on average, we have more time to spend in retirement, and we may want to work longer in life to both pay for a longer retirement with less income, or just keep involved longer in our work lives.

Whatever the reason, my sense is that these conversations people are having about exploring employment or work options into their 50’s and 60’s  when they’re in their late 40’s to mid-50’s is becoming more popular. It’s not that people are always disenchanted with their current jobs and have lost interest; although I know of some who would say that is exactly their issue. For some, it’s a desire to do something different; a last chance perhaps to do something they’ve always wanted to do or they finally feel a now-or-never mentality.

Now when they arrive at this point of their lives where there is an urge to explore options, the options available largely are confined to whatever skills and experience the person has in their life inventory. Those of us who have worked in a single sector all our lives may on the one hand have less choices available than those of us who have worked in positions across several sectors. Those who have continued in their adult lives with upgrading their education may be more attractive than those who haven’t to potential employers.

Let’s also say that there are some people who are just more comfortable taking risks than others as well. If you have a conservative nature you may think the person quitting a stable, well paid position for some new venture is foolish, off their rocker, gambling with their retirement savings. On the other hand the person who leaps may be feeling they’ll die on the inside and live with regret wondering, “what if” throughout their retirement if they don’t find the courage to jump into something new and invigorating, mentally stimulating.

This isn’t where I’ll wade in on what is right or wrong – that’s for those individuals to contemplate and arrive at decisions they literally have to live with moving forward.

I do think as I say that the quiet musings or open discussions are just becoming more prevalent of late with the people in my network. Is it a restlessness of spirit perhaps; normal checks and balances that happen throughout our lives and nothing more? I suppose one might say that generally our teen years are about setting us up for emerging independence from our parents. Our 20’s are for exploring people, the world and ourselves, our 30’s are for establishing our futures, taking on responsibilities, finding roots to hold onto. Our 40’s enrich our lives and we reach our potential. Our 50’s we start looking at our work lives and see for the first time a window that’s just starting to close. In our 60’s we have far less compunction to re-invent ourselves and start anew; less willingness to gamble the nest egg. I don’t necessarily believe this work-related timeline is the absolute way it is for everyone.    

I’d love to have you weigh in and comment on where you are in your life at the moment and what musings – quiet or otherwise you are mulling over. Is there something stirring in your consciousness and if so, what’s driving those thoughts for something else? Are you afraid, excited or confused about the growing state of flux in which you find yourself more often these days? What considerations do you have to take to change?

Change can be liberating, threatening, give you your sanity back, put a smile on your face, fill your retirement with memories or empty your bank account. If you continue the course you’re on, will you be okay with the choice you’ve settled on?

Doing Better And The Element Of Change


“We can be better.” Do you believe the team you work on and the organization you work for can be better? Is it productivity, results, customer service, a reduction in complaints, profit margins, quality of staffing, working environment or physical spaces to name a few things? Or do you honestly believe that there is no area in which your team and your organization can be improved in any way?

Okay, so here I make an assumption; if you answered objectively, you admitted there are ways in which your team and your organization can be better. The next step might appear to examine in what ways?’, but in my mind it’s actually, “Is there a willingness to change in order to become better?”

You see, if you jump to looking at ways to improve and do things better right off the bat, most people will get on board with this easily enough but a key stumbling block down the road to improvement down the road is being ignored at the outset. People generally agree on being better as long as it refers to others. In other words, the change required to be better requires that other members on the team adjust and work more like us. “Then we’d have a homogenous team and we’d be better because people would be more like me. And I work and act this way because it’s comfortable and what I’m willing to give to the work I do.”

However, if you ask everyone at the outset if there is a willingness to change in order to become better, then the starting basis for any further discussion is that everyone has to change to a lesser or greater degree, but change there will be. Now it might appear academic that to do better and be better, change is a given. Don’t make that assumption! From my experience, the world change itself is pretty open to interpretation. To some, ‘change’ could mean a minor adjustment to which they can point and say, “See, I changed.” To someone sitting right beside that person, their idea of change is nothing less than a massive overhaul that looks completely new and different.

It’s therefore a good idea anytime change is being discussed to determine a shared definition and understanding of the word, ‘change’. Failing to start with some shared comprehension of change can result in people eventually disagreeing on the scope of change being proposed. So while one person thinks a change in office furniture means new desks going in exactly the same locations as the old office furniture, another person sees new furniture, and an opportunity to change the layout itself to something different and in their view better.

We can do better. That was the opening premise. Okay so now that you have a discussion about getting your people all on board with the fact that to better, it goes hand in hand with change, the discussion moves to the question of how. This is where the fragile are going to lock down and resist change, because for some, the instinctive thing to do is protect whatever it is that we hold most dear. Will being better mean doing things differently? Yes. Will doing things differently mean I’ll be uncomfortable, giving up or sharing control, maybe being displaced altogether? Maybe that occurs, but not necessarily. Remember, some people think change is a good thing; as long as we’re talking about other people.

We can do better; we choose not to. This is the complaint consumers, customers and clients often have of the services and goods they receive from organizations. Ironically, listening to consumers, customers and clients is at the very heart of what should drive change. Yet, there are countless examples of organizations and teams of people who plan in isolation, designing and implementing what they believe to be best for these groups only to find they’ve missed the mark.

Choosing to do better usually but not always involves an outlay of cash. This outlay of cash should be seen as an investment in the people who will benefit from the way in which your team or your organization changes. If that new office furniture makes the employees perform safer and more efficient work; if there are less injuries because the design itself becomes more ergonomically friendly, then less time away from the job due to injury improves the customer service experience. Go for it.

So does your team acknowledge that it can be better? Is everyone on board with change as a necessary requirement in order for the improvement to occur? Does everyone have a shared understanding of what change itself implies as it may apply to them and how they do things at present?

These are some of the necessary questions at the early stages in the process of improving. One of the worst things that an organization or team can do is decide in isolation on change, then implement changes on other people without properly involving them in the process. This is the classic; “We know what’s best for you and don’t need your input” approach. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t.

As a member of your team and the larger organization, look for opportunities to improve; talk with your customers, consumers and clients, listen to their ideas. Embrace change as inevitable to doing business and be receptive to learning new methods of delivery.