In the transformational change that we support we are often asked (implicitly) to change the original ‘contract’ that employees ‘signed up for’. This immediately positions a before / after and opposition.
In organizations who take a more nimble approach, usually newer organizations and often technology-driven, this is less of an issue – why? My hypothesis is that the ‘social contract’ is different – more along the lines of ‘we have a culture of innovation’ i.e. the signal that change will come, frequently and often, is established as a part of the original agreement to work together. Yes, we deal with loss of control and fear of failure but within a completely different context from long established industrial-age cultures that presumed the original set-up would run forever (providing for life-time jobs, job security, etc, etc).
The world has changed forcing organizations to change more often and more quickly. Organizations who do not update their ‘contracts’ with employees set themselves up for real resistance from the get go. The alternative is equally intimidating but far more sustainable.
Is it time to re-set the expectations of employees? Do we have any other viable alternatives?