The rise of the knowledge empowered citizens

By Dzul Bahrin Asmawi
The knowledge empowered citizen @

People will always remain the heart and soul of any organization. People have the initiative, creativity and intelligence to implement plans and innovation that go a long way towards making an organization function effectively. Working together, people accomplish goals and objectives leading to their organisation’s growth and success.

The greatest challenge in organization today is changing the mindsets of its people. An organization can only change if the mindsets of the people change. Changing the system, process, technology, structure and strategy is not enough. How then do you get people to change their mindset?

Experts recommend the following:

1. Getting people out of their comfort zone
2. Getting people to unlearn the old ways.
3. Getting people to see the need for change.
4. Communicating the rationale for change.
5. Getting people to change positively.

Among the many people skill areas where training program ought to be developed is the management of change. We may also find it useful to understand why people resist changes and to learn the various ways of overcoming such resistance by people who are territorial or thinking parochial. Most important catalyst for change is people and their attitude and behavior. 
The greatest threat to the survival of organizations (especially BN after 50 years) is complacency of people inside organization. It is the No. 1 enemy in successful organizations today.

Complacency in the workplace is defined here as a sense of excessive comfort coupled with a lack of urgency to address organization issues or areas that need improvement and growth.
The six grave dangers of complacency:
1.         It leads to inaction. One of the hallmarks of successful organisations is that they take a lot of actions. They take great effort in motivating and rewarding people based on performance. However, success breed complacency, which eventually leads to inaction. Instead of making things happen, they are immobilized by status quo.
2.         It leads to blind spots in people towards the need for change and growth. Blind spots refer to those critical areas that need to be addressed but are not, as people are not aware of them or refuse to acknowledge them.
3.         It leads to poor quality when demand exceeds supply. In the rush to meet demand, the trade off is quantity for quality (thus explain the increase in the number of Government’s Ministry in 2004).
4.         It leads to excessiveness when organisiation that are doing well tend to be lax in their control of resources.
5.         It leads to strategic vulnerabilities whenever people become too comfortable with their past and current success. Their thinking has become short term, inward looking and narrow.
6.         It leads to deteriorating bottom line performance. Complacent organization which no longer put emphasis on addressing quality problems and customer complaints
(both internal and external)  will lose customer and sales revenue.
In a very competitive and fast changing environment, remaining status quo is the surest path to losing market share. Organizations that do not take fast actions to change and grow the company will see their profits evaporate quickly.
We need to create an adventurous, high performance culture that emphasizes creativity, courage, conviction and connection and one that can both embrace change and encourage leadership at every level, not just from the top.
Perhaps it is the lack of openness and transparency the way it is communicated. Sometimes it is the person who delivers the message. When there is no trust towards the leader, whatever changes recommended by him or her will be rejected.
Getting the right person to deliver the right message across in the right manner is critical. Too often a change that is going to be introduced is inherently positive but the way it is communicated elicits a negative attitude in others
1.         Welcome challenge and conflict as a source of creativity and learning opportunities.
2.         A healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo (DSQ). In high performing organization, people want to improve, learn and do things better. There is an aggressive culture towards competitors and this drives the DSQ.
3.         A desire to succeed and avoid failure. Strong employee self confident but must be
backed up by top management team pulling in the same direction and sharing a common understanding of the business model.
4.         Change should lead to opportunities. A program aimed at addressing problems with
performance can help people to feel empowered and capable of tackling issues.
5          A strong sense of us in improving performance which require clarity on mission, vision, strategy and values.
6.         Finally, strong leadership at every level and the right human resource strategies that will support learning, encourage autonomy and create an environment of success.
Change is inevitable especially so in a business, corporate, social and political organizations. In order to maintain and improve our position, we must continually adapt to our circumstances. Failing to adapt leaves the individual complacent and even obsolete.
Organisation should also consider and influence all the drivers of behaviors – performance measures/ rewards, technology, structure, people skills, culture and process to facilitate work that adds value.
Thus to make it work, it is important to elicit a positive attitude towards change by taking the right approach with the right message through the right leader.