Looking back on it, I wish I would have had the foresight to keep going. At the time, I didn’t appreciate how complicated bottom-up change management would be. My supervisors had a vision for my role, and it did not include change management. As a result, I struggled so hard in that role. I kept wanting to do something big. I like to make big plans, and I get energized by the idea of making things better. But in that role, I was constricted to the point where my OCM flame had burned out. Even after attaining my Human Resources certification through the Society for Human Resource Management and becoming a certified change management practitioner – all on my own dime, I’d add – I could not break through the quagmire.
In my role now, the original problem is still there. And I think it may be time to pick up where I left off. I see not having everyone behind a change as a problem. And there isn’t one form of messaging that works for everyone. Some people are motivated by the vision (like me), others by what they’ll learn, others because of the benefits the change brings, others because people they respect are doing it, and still others only if it’s clear what’s in it for them. Effective OCM takes this into account and designs strategies for delivering the right message, from the right sender to the person, at the right time. It is messy, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But I’m interested in it. I believe it can happen. It’ll probably be more challenging than I think, take longer than expected, and require a different approach than I have in mind, but I know it can happen.
So maybe I do get energized by problem-solving, after all. To me, what else is there other than solving problems? Perhaps some people will say building relationships. Or instead of looking for deficiencies, look for successes and build on them. But I think these are problems, too. Some issues are fun, and others are not fun, but they are still problems either way. My preference is to solve complicated problems. I want to be in an environment where I have the tools and support to cultivate my skills further. The “sink or swim” approach is over-used and over-rated.