Recently, a local organization with some 200 employees asked me to lead a hour-long discussion about change. Because of the topic, I insisted we insert a twist into the invitation. Even though this organization is facing significant change in how it delivers its products and how employees work, the invitation asked for attendance on the condition that the invitee wanted to be there. If they didn’t want to change, the invitation said, they shouldn’t come.
Four out of 200 showed up. Four.
As you read this, what’s your reaction? It was Thoreau who famously said that it doesn’t matter where you look, it matters what you see. The four people who attended were intensely curious about how they could deal with the changes at their workplace, and how such learning could apply to their lives outside of work. We had, by every indication, a productive and educational workshop.
On my drive home, instead of dwelling on the number, I was comparing that to the rooms of people at organizations who sit slouched in their chairs, occasionally rolling their eyes (thinking no one notices), and waiting for the learning to end. Not only in classes they’re forced to go to, but every day they come to work.
When it comes to changing your work or your life, which room do you belong in?