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Coping with Change in the Workplace

Change, and our ability to make it work for us rather than against us, has become a defining characteristic of successful individuals, teams, departments and organisations.

Our ability to cope with change has been forced to strengthen, as change has become the very essence of a thriving organisation. Despite knowing all this, change is still often greeted with fear and avoidance. Why? We fear change at work for a variety of valid reasons. Many of these fears are associated with a fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, but more often than not, fear of the unknown.

The existence of change is inevitable and necessary, and isn’t going to go away by simply ignoring the issues as they arise. Instead, by being prepared to take on the many changes that can present themselves along the way, everyone in the organisation can learn to overcome the fear and embrace the changes ahead with positivity and intention.

For the forward-thinking leader or manager who seeks to make the most of the future, change is the vital ingredient that must be present, welcomed and nurtured. Below are a few suggestions on how to help your team tackle change better, and how you can lead them through change with skill and prowess.

Recognise that change does happen and it has a purpose

The first thing to address is the attitude toward the presence of change. Renewal and growth through change has meant employees and leaders at all levels of organisations have become accustomed to change in the form of restructuring, reinvention, decentralisation, centralisation, the creation of multi-disciplinary teams, and forms of flexible work practices.

Whether it be a staff reshuffle, a merger or a budget dilemma, there is nothing to be gained in denying that the change is happening. Instead, by recognising the presence of the change, fear of the unknown is addressed in the early stages. By coming to terms with the situation, encouraging optimism around it and discussing the next step, change can be approached more positively, and in turn more productively.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

In a situation of organisational change, communication cannot be an afterthought. It has to be a core component of the steps toward incorporating the presence of change into future actions. Periods of change require an effort by everyone involved to be on the same page. Any communication gaps can immediately be filled by rumours and speculation, which create even more fear around the idea of change. If employees are given the opportunity to effectively communicate their fears to co-workers, leaders and managers within their organisation, their concerns can be better addressed and alleviated. Empathy can be the greatest communication tool you have.

Acknowledge that incorporating change happens in stages

Often change in the workplace can simulate the same stages as grief – shock, denial, anger and finally, acceptance. In order to reach the point of acceptance (and the end goal of moving forward) the previous stages will need to be progressed through, both individually and as a group. The progression from one stage to the next may not be a smooth one, nor may it happen at the same rate for everyone involved. Have an understanding of the stages that you and your team will need to progress through in order to reach the final positive position of acceptance. It will help you to have more empathy for those around you, and to be able to provide support when required.

Be flexible, be realistic

In essence change is about being flexible. By being inflexible with how you approach a changing situation, you are diminishing your chances of being able to cope with the end result of the change. Instead, your ingrained thinking patterns will be out of step with what the new situation requires and you will be left behind.

Take a good look at the requirements of the new situation. You may need to learn new skills, integrate different processes or redirect resources. Be honest with what is required and see the change as an opportunity to streamline and learn. Come up with a plan to deal with the change for yourself and for your team and begin executing it as soon as possible.

Remember that a change in organisational structure can also present a perfect opportunity to shake things up individually and at a team member level too. Incorporate feedback on individual staff members to encourage performance through the transition time, but keep your expectations within the parameters of what is possible.

See the bigger picture

Change is something that is definitely here to stay. The necessary approaches to tough times require new ways of thinking and an understanding of the importance of fluid thinking. Change can be frightening, disruptive and overwhelming. However, with the right attitude and a predetermined set of actions that can guide you and your team through, you can find the opportunity in any situation and learn to embrace change for what it is: possibility.

LMA Take LMA’s Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D) Survey to have your say about what changes most affect the modern workplace.


Three Cheers for the High Achievers

As 2017 draws to a close we would like to celebrate the thousands of people who have participated and graduated from an LMA course this year.

As high achievers, we hope that you continue to practice LMA’s teachings, utilise the tools within the workplace and set goals in both your personal and professional lives.



Here is some of the feedback from LMA graduates in 2017.


Remember that high achievers:

  • Think positively (Above the Line)
  • Are willing to pay the price for success
  • Are willing to accept personal responsibility
  • Expect to succeed
  • Set goals in all areas of life
  • Are on a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement

Congratulations to the 2017 Graduates of Leadership Management Australia!


Limited Spaces Left – Book Now for 5% off

We are very excited to announce our partnership with Genos International to deliver their Emotional Intelligence short courses and assessments through the Thrive More product range.

As a world leader in emotional intelligence assessment and programs that enhance self-awareness, empathy, leadership and resilience, Genos were the obvious choice provider to extend our offering in this exciting area.

The first courses run in Perth and Brisbane have sold out but we have some spots available for the upcoming 1/2 course in Melbourne – click here to book and access a 5% discount using the discount code LAUNCH.

In the modern workplace where change is constant, the benefits of Emotional Intelligence development occur within and outside of the workplace. When strong emotional intelligence is displayed relationships improve, stress is reduced, change occurs more efficiently and performance increases.

In the workplace, Emotional Intelligence is fundamental to strong self-awareness, empathy, leadership and resilience. People who work on developing their emotional intelligence feel better at work, facilitate a more productive work environment, and better lead and engage others.

To facilitate the development of emotionally intelligent behaviour our short courses provide cutting-edge content, assessments, frameworks and tools which transfer into real, practical behavioural changes that create lasting results.

Available as a half, one or two day course, in an Open environment with Participants from other organisations, or delivered in-house for a selection of your team members, our Emotional Intelligence short courses help participants explore and practice tools and techniques for applying emotional intelligence at work and outside of the workplace.

Click here for more information and upcoming open courses.


Think Perform Partner with Character Group to Optimise Manufacturing

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, an organisation’s ability to deliver quality, cost effective products and services in a global market is essential to its survival and growth.

LMA’s sister company Think Perform are leaders in delivering transformational business improvement programs, built around strong values and respect for our client organisations and their people. We are the best at what we do – partnering with organisations to achieve operational excellence and a sustainable future.

We recently filmed a video with one of our clients in WA, Character Cabinets and Stone with Character in which CEO ‘Squeak’ Van Duyn and his team explain how engaging Think Perform to train and certify their workforce in lean manufacturing resulted in a more efficient and profitable business creating a happier workplace with more satisfied clients.

“We all know that Lean is not something that you arrive at, it is a continual journey, there is no destination as such, and so it’s something that we will continue over the years to improve, improve and improve.” ‘Squeak’ Van Duyn.

Click to find out more about Think Perform.


Promoting Gender Diversity in Supply Chain and Logistics

Ground  breaking  and  inspiring,  this  is  a  unique  event  that  will  challenge  your  thinking  and  give  your  corporations  and  teams  a  different  perspective  in  non-traditional  roles  for  women.  An  amazing  line  up  of  leaders  who  ask  the  right  questions  and  challenge  the  norm.

LMA is proud to support this event and encourage individuals and companies to accelerate the need for diversity and strengthen our future in the supply chain and logistics industry.

This event will change the think tanks of government and industry and will showcase support for women.  Hear and learn that there are exciting careers and opportunities in every part of the supply chain and logistics field.

When: Friday, 20 October 2017
Venue: Leonda By The Yarra, 2 Wallen Road Hawthorn, VIC
Time: 12noon to 4.00pm
Cost: $165.00 per person
$1,650.00 for table of 10

Women in Logistics Lunch Event Info

To book your spot click here


Women World Changers

Achieving economic stability and security remain important discussions around gender equality in the workplace.  However, the issues around stability alone are not where the conversation about women in the workforce should end.

Fittingly, the UN’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’. In a timespan of less than 15 years, the UN envisions a world where women are equal in comparison to their male colleagues in pay, leadership representation, respect and in the owning and celebration of success.

Highlighting these ambitious and seismic shifts in the labour market in the context of women’s empowerment is essential to changing the current landscape and shape of the game at work across all industries. Policies are needed to bridge the gender pay gap, address the gender gap in leadership and entrepreneurship, and ensure that equal access to education, capital and social protection is not a luxury but the standard.

While dreaming and hoping for policy and general progress is a great step, it is not the running leap needed to make real change happen. To make positive change happen, everyone has to be a part of the conversation.

In a talk at TEDWomen, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In) discusses three key points she sees as pivotal for women reaching for and staying in leadership positions. Her underlying message was that individual actions are what will change the message we are sending to and receiving from women. The key change? Changing the conversation from ‘one day I’ll do it’ to ‘right now, we can do it’.

Women are half the world’s potential. Unleashing it requires access to leadership opportunities as well as gender-sensitive policies and regulations that welcome a more vibrant economy that benefits everyone. Changing the conversation and changing the outcome is not something to focus on ‘one day’ – it is something to focus on every day, for both women and men.

This year’s Women World Changers event will gather together top business, government and community leaders to discuss an ambitious but necessary agenda around equal representation, myth busting of gender and stereotypes, the way to lead with influence and impact, and how we all have a role to play in reimagining what leadership means.

This year’s outstanding speaker lineup is headlined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Elizabeth Broderick, Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007 – 2015).

By attending this dynamic and critical event, participants will be engaging with empowered and driven women and men striving for a better understanding of what the obstacles are in the way to an empowered and active equal workforce, and what strengths we all already possess to make individual changes now in every workplace.

This one day leadership event will drive critical dialogue to tackle diversity and equity challenges facing Australian organisations in order to challenge established thinking, change the game and inspire action. Women World Changers is an event for all who want to be an instrumental part of a conversation that will elevate women, the economy and the future prosperity of our nation.

Event details:

Melbourne & Sydney | 9th & 11th October – Please click here to take advantage of our LMA discount.


Are You An Emotionally Intelligent Leader?

Great leadership and high emotional intelligence are highly-related. Developing your emotional intelligence will greatly benefit your career prospects, your ability to lead and your work/life balance.

Leaders who demonstrate a level of emotional intelligence are more likely to be successful in their roles, have stronger relationships with their team members and are able to resolve conflict-related issues that arise in any leadership position. While some roles such as Software Developer or Accountant may not have a lot of face-to-face interaction time, the behaviours that come with having a high level of emotional intelligence are absolutely vital to the success of a leader in any field.

So, what key behaviours do leaders who possess high levels of emotional intelligence exhibit that separates them from those who do not?

  • Leaders who are self-aware and self-regulate will be seen as reliable, resilient and trustworthy. Those who present themselves as such are more likely to gain the trust of those around them, encouraging a more open and honest working environment that benefits everyone.
  • Those leaders who are seen as self-motivated will inspire others to find their own internal motivators. By focusing on what makes them happy and content at work, leaders are opening up others to consider what individually inspires and motivates them in their own performance. Team members who are more self-motivated will be more likely to set goals, manage their own performance and direct their energy effectively into high pay-off activities (HPAs) that make them feel active and instrumental to the success of themselves and those around them.
  • Leaders who are empathetic and have highly-developed social skills foster a rapport with their team members as individuals with unique backgrounds, personalities and strengths. Leaders who are able to meaningfully connect with team members as individuals are also able to work through problems with team members as they arise. Work related or personal issues are not simply sidelined or ignored, instead leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to pre-empt the best course of action for those around them.

LMA’s associated company, Thrive More, currently offers three distinct Emotional Intelligence short courses that are specifically designed to improve your Emotional Intelligence quickly and effectively. Click here find out more or call 1800 333 270.

Two businessmen going over ideas together at the office

Learning to Work with the Digital Age

Many industries have already started to ask key questions:  What will the workplace look like in an age of disruption from the status quo? What will employees be doing and how will managers be able to best guide those around them through a digital transformation? How many of the roles around us will be automated, or obsolete? What will ‘work’ look like in the next 10, 20, 30 or even 50 years?

Although these may seem like abstract questions to be asking, they are in fact pivotal questions for any forward thinking organisation and industry to be asking now. While a complete digital transformation may yet be decades away, those who start putting into place policies and practices now are more likely to be ahead of the pack when the disruption does come.

According to many experts in this area, there are a few fundamental forces that are driving change in the workplace:

  • There has been a notable shift from traditional hierarchies and social contracts to more flexible working arrangements. Also, work is becoming more project based and collaborative across various teams and networks.
  • With the rise of diversity in our professional vocabulary, we are experiencing an increasingly inclusive workforce with individualised work policies to support the diversity around us.
  • Increasingly more work is done virtually or remotely.
  • Instead of changes taking years to enact, industry has become used to adapting on a continual basis, rapidly reinventing itself as necessary.
  • We have accepted that automation is now a part of our lives, and we have developed work around the presence of the automated processes around us.

For many who study the field of digitisation in work, the last point seems to be the catalyst for the previous four. As automation takes over more jobs and more industries, we can tend to think negatively about how many people this will put out of work.

We recommend approaching it from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the loss that comes from automation, we can start to think about the space that is opened up to personal and professional development, ongoing rigour in our pursuit of meaningful, even joyful work, and the possibilities that can come from a digitally agile business.

While this all sounds extraordinary in principle, the real challenge is putting this attitude and the policies that come with it into practice. In an age when technology reigns supreme, people will still remain a company’s greatest asset. After all, collective knowledge, collaboration and innovation are fuelled by people, not algorithms or disruptive technologies.

So, how do you embrace the technological onslaught while still maintaining the strong position of your people? In short, not without a lot of planning and with digitally agile people at the helm. Research suggests that it will take a few key underlying capabilities to succeed in this task:

  • Hyper-awareness – the ability to gather and analyse data from employees, contractors, customers, competitors and the changing marketplace. For us in the field of developing people, this means gathering as much information as we can through in-depth surveys such as the annual L.E.A.D. Survey to inform future decisions according to the changing market. How are you staying in touch with your industry and the changes that are happening within it?
  • Informed decision making – namely, the ability to use the collective intelligence, talent and creativity of the workforce to make good strategic and operational decisions. How are you using the talent around you to hone decision making for the future?
  • Execution with agility – the ability to act quickly to find the talent needed to elevate the organisation to the next level and ensure that those loyal to the company are given the tools and training to continue to work to achieve the strategic goals of the company.

While it sounds like a lot to be aware of, there is one underlying factor that can assist in facilitating any amount of change or disruption: that is the willingness to change. New capabilities call for a fundamental desire to listen to those around you and accept the need for change. Digital changes emphatically insist on a willingness to accept them. To be able to face the coming changes, the way we work on a daily basis needs to be examined and adapted, and new ways of thinking need to have the space to come into our workplaces for the better of everyone involved.  LMA offers a wide range of courses related to this field, click here to check them out!


Cultivating Collaboration in the Workplace

The notion of collaboration is nothing new to any progressive workplace. Collaboration is the stuff that binds a team together and allows new skills and opportunities to present themselves. As the workplace becomes ever more flexible, more connected and more digital, it is important to keep in mind what forms the basis of effective collaboration, and how to harness its potential in an increasingly fast-paced environment.

Thanks to technology and the ubiquity of digital communication tools, connecting with one another in a work environment has seemingly never been simpler. However, regardless of technology advances, good collaboration between team members, departments and managers will always still rely on organisation and openness between people.

To best cultivate a culture of collaboration in your workplace, you need to first encourage the creation of a platform for open and driven communication.  Make your good people great!

Clearly communicate open communication expectations

To cultivate a strong and ongoing culture of collaboration, the first step needs to be setting this as the base level of expectation among all team members and leaders. Every team member needs to not only understand their own position, but also the position and responsibilities of those around them. In a collaborative environment, each team member will be aware of what their responsibilities are and how these form part of the greater whole around them.

By clearly communicating to both new and existing team members the wider company expectations that go along with being a part of the team, each person will be on the same page moving forward with any changes, developments or projects.

Set team goals

We are huge advocates for personal and professional goal setting for individuals. Additionally, we are also big advocates for setting regular S.M.A.R.T. team goals.

Ensure these goals are concise, measurable and set at least on a quarterly basis. By having each team focus on goals, individual efforts will stay on track while also aligning group efforts with desired larger outcomes. Team members that feel they are working collectively towards some larger goal will feel more connected to each step towards these larger goals and will also be more invested in the final outcome of their individual efforts.

Encourage a creative atmosphere

Some of the most successful companies in the world are renowned for their creative structures and processes (think of Google and Apple). By allowing team members the opportunity to regularly brainstorm and question in an open and non-judgemental framework, you are encouraging new strategies and solutions to appear, as opposed to focusing on the current roadblocks of a problem.

By nurturing a ‘can do’ attitude and encouraging resourcefulness in your environment you are sending a message to each team member that clearly indicates how important their input and opinion is to the future of the organisation.

Provide social opportunities

Although people are expected to be working when they are at work, human beings are social and curious creatures. We need to feel that we are accepted and acknowledged by those around us to feel comfortable and safe. Along with this feeling of safety comes an accompanying space to think creatively, be ourselves and perform at our peak.

By providing a space for regular social activities, you are allowing team members to get to know one another better so they feel more comfortable and more capable of working together. Different personality dynamics, skill sets and experiences will be present in each team. By getting to know one another better, team members will be able to draw on one another’s skill sets to complete projects more effectively and more efficiently.

Leverage the strengths in your team

Position each team member to achieve the most they can by assigning them to tasks that will allow them to succeed. Reward both individual and team accomplishments with acknowledgement, both public and private if the team member is comfortable with this attention.

Establishing a collaboration culture is only the beginning. Collaboration has to be at the forefront of leaders’ minds – it has to be a consistent policy based on openness, mutual respect and a willingness to listen to others. Instead of focusing on just your team members who are excelling, a culture of collaboration calls for the focus to be shifted onto the performance and development of all those who are in your organisation. After all, if everyone who has a voice and a new idea in your team is able to speak and act, imagine the possibilities for performance and productivity that can bring.


Managing for Year-Round Performance

Current wisdom in human relations management concurs that employee performance management is or should be a year round activity, not once a year or twice at most.

Below we’ve outlined a few strategies that you can put in place starting today that will allow you to properly monitor and evaluate the year round performance of your team members.

Regularly keep notes on your team member’s performance

Don’t shy away from keeping detailed notes throughout the year on individual performance. Unless you’ve kept detailed evaluations throughout the year, writing a performance review at the end of each year tends to skew the evaluations, for the detriment of yourself and the team member.

Be sure to jot down notes on milestones, accomplishments, successes and challenges as they occur when the details are fresh in your mind. If you note a drop in performance or a change in attitude, be sure to make note of it too and investigate if there may be an opportunity for development or mentoring.

These details provide invaluable material for feedback for the employee as ongoing development opportunities, not once off throughout the year. Keeping these types of notes also helps managers to monitor their own behaviour and see where there may be opportunities for development in their own skills.

Regularly monitor progress on goals

A goal is only as effective as its action plan to achieve it.  At LMA, we preach the importance of having S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning that they have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and tangible.

Being ‘measurable’ means that there should be steps along the way that count as progress points towards the achievement of a major goal. Your team member’s goals should not be established and then put away in a drawer to be forgotten – they need to be looked at regularly, almost daily, to ensure that these goals are being actively pursued.

In a rapidly moving business environment, it is imperative for managers to stay on top of each of their team member’s goals and progress on a regular basis to ensure they are still appropriate and achievable in the context of the rest of the team member’s responsibilities. That way, goals can be adjusted at the time they need to be, not just once a year. This will ensure the goal is still S.M.A.R.T. and connected to the employee’s own sense of achievement and development.

Provide ongoing development opportunities

In some organisations, team member development is only addressed once, maybe twice a year. To properly manage year round performance, the year round development of the individual needs to be at the forefront of the manager’s mind.

To ensure team members are consistently developing, they need to be given the opportunity to pursue new skills and hone existing ones at regular intervals throughout the year. By providing regular opportunities for personal development, one-on-one coaching and feedback throughout the year, managers are facilitating this growth pattern on a consistent basis, not just sporadically when a need for training presents itself in a problem situation.

Hold more frequent review meetings

By only conducting reviews once per year, you are sending a tacit message to your team members that you are only interested in their performance at that particular time of year. While this may not be the message you intend, it encourages the troughs in performance that you are trying to avoid at slow times of year, such as just before a holiday break.

More frequent review meetings have the benefit of dealing with ‘fresher’ information, facilitating a more open and relevant conversation between managers and team member’s based on behaviour and performance closer to the real time it occurred.

While many managers and team members will be resistant to the idea of more frequent meetings, the key to overcoming this stumbling block lies in the way the meetings are recorded. By reducing paperwork and streamlining the process, the goal of a quarterly review can be more easily completed and the results filtered back into the development of the team member, as opposed to getting stuck in laborious processes and approval pipelines.

Looking for more detail on why regular one-on-one meetings are so important to a well-functioning team? Click through to our longer piece One-on-one Meetings to read more about why they are imperative to both managers and team members.