Josh Holmes: Whisky Web II Closing Keynote

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Josh Holmes (@joshholmes) was talking about change at Whisky Web II, these are my notes from his talk.

"Nothing endures but change" ~Heraclitus

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over agian and expecting different results." ~Albert Einstein If we want change to happen we have to do something different.

How do you affect organisational change?

You have to change all the time and to be perfect you have to change frequently. We want to be the change agents otherwise it will drive you. Our industry changes incredibly quickly - in a few years things go from Sci-Fi to a reality better than the fiction.

Where do we start with the change?

If we're excited about a change we need to be driving it forward but we have to remember that we're in an organisation and there will be resistance and weak links which we need to make sure don't break. Be prepared to change - what starts out as a good idea might not end up the best idea. Constantly question weather the technology is still the right thing. Some changes are just stupid - don't change just for the sake of it.

When do we make the change?

There's never a right time to make a change but sometimes there's a less wrong time to make a change. Is the change going to help? The more radical the change is the more lead time it needs. Progress is a nice work but change is scary. People's perceptions are different so their attitudes to change are different. Some people have a vested interested in keeping their job and see change as a threat to that - change can be emotional. Change most often invokes fear.

How do we manage change?

"The measure of a person is where he stands in moments of crisis and controversy." ~Martin Luther King

Three approaches:

  • Do anything
  • Do everything
  • Do nothing

Be a leader - give people something to follow. Even if you're not sure where you're going it's better that someone is leading than everyone is going in their own direction. If the risks of staying in the same spot are too great then moving somewhere else is going to be better. Look at people's motivations and try and phrase the change in a way that appeals to that. Reach out to everybody - over communication is never a bad thing.

Keep it simple. Keep motivation going, it withers over time. Failure is always an option - let people make a mistake because they will learn more from a mistake than a success - but don't let people hit the ground.

Don't worry about taking credit - unless this will be your ONLY idea! Credit will come around. Go BIG. The bigger the idea the bigger the success.

Do something, anything, learn then repeat.

"If you want to understand something, try to change it." ~Kurt Lewin