I’ll be honest, writing blog posts doesn’t come naturally to me. Whilst you may argue that recruiters can talk the hind legs off a donkey, and we have an infinite amount of ‘chat’, topics that are genuinely interesting and relevant can be hard to come by. 

So lets talk about something that seems to be the word on the streets; CHANGE.

With a nod to Bowies song title (some of you younger readers will be scratching their heads I'm sure), I recently met a senior contact who had spent some time working for a very large international staffing and recruiting firm at board level and who came across as a very switched on, highly intelligent and creative professional. He described his role as one that above and beyond its normal business as usual scope, was to recognise where change was needed and to drive this change from an organisational, technology and talent PoV. 

In summary it seemed that despite all his skills, subtle manoeuvring and efforts, the board members all enthused about change and how wonderful it was, but when it came to implementing the changes required, the senior stakeholders sat on their hands and kept the status quo as was. This is a billion dollar turnover business. How I asked, could this be allowed to happen? And the answer came back, well, its the culture

Obviously the two are inherently linked. It reminded me of a cartoon sketch I saw on LinkedIn with someone asking “Who wants change?” with drawings of the workforce all holding their hands up. And the next question was, “Who wants to implement it?” and, you’ve guessed it, the next drawing with no one holding their hands up! Thats cultural resistance to change in action. 

Without the leaders of todays businesses being sufficiently self-aware to recognise that they drive the culture and feel of a business, change is akin to a Ferrari with an engine problem. Everyone loves the look of it but no one wants to spend anything to fix it. 

Having recently taken the dive into running a small yet thriving recruitment business, change has been central to my day to day working over the last 3 months. I can’t hide behind a culture or a legacy or a large team. Its down to me to drive the changes in myself and my business and team’s practices. I can’t afford to hit that cultural wall and I would argue that this is a wall that is significantly scaled up in size for the bigger businesses! Repeated head butting of the culture wall simply cannot be good for business or health! 

This company in question must’ve handed out some very tough crash helmets….

A great infographic I saw recently also reinforces the dynamics of culture and change - - So how is change perceived and implemented in your company? And are you a blocker or an activist of change?

You never know, you may need that crash helmet?