Skills to work differently

Skills to work differently - team collaboration at a meeting room table to solve a problem

A key to adopting new ways of working is that people know they will have the skills and capabilities to succeed.  I have seen transformations fail because making videos and an FAQ document and/or having a day (or week) of training was not enough.

In some cases, the shortfall happened because the transformation team misjudged the situation but in others, the transformation was denied the time or safety it needed for capability-focused work.

People learn differently and adults need repetition and practice versus classroom activity.  And when it comes to changing ways of working, people’s concerns or struggles may not be obvious.  If a team implements Daily Scrum meetings, there could be a top performer that hates the meeting because they have anxiety speaking in front of the team.  If a manager used to saying yes to business requests has to start saying no, will that person have the space and coaching to practice managing the unfamiliar situation? Or will they be expected to figure it out on their own?  The latter exponentially increases the likelihood of resistance to change.

There is no shortcut to successful change.  It requires time, practice and commitment to coach employees and build trusting relationships.  It’s a self-reinforcing loop: as employees see investment in their capabilities, they feel safer practicing new skills and admitting when they need help.  This boosts their growth, loyalty and confidence in the change.


How does your organization support capability building during times of change?  What formal steps are taken to allow the time and support needed?