2018 for me has started on a highpoint, finally the book that I wrote with a friend of mine, is going to be launched on February 1. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be writing a book, I would have laughed, because it would be a joke. I love to speak, I am not a writer.
How come I wrote a book when I don’t enjoy writing?
I have been working in the public sector in The Netherlands for almost 15 years, and I have seen my share of change programs and participated in a few. These change programs usually started out with a lot of positive energy and ambition. After a few months I would see the energy go down fast and I have even experienced it myself. People responding with: it is not going to work, we have had change programs and culture programs before, they never changed anything, this won’t work for us. Really frustrating when you yourself can already see the benefits of changing your thinking and ways of working. You believe that the organization can be a place where you can flourish and the organization performs at its best.
At change management workshops you learn that there needs to be urgency and you should entice people to reflect and experiment, invite them to engage and bring in ideas. But what if you hit a wall and you try and try, but it just doesn’t work.
Out of frustration you start a search on google for organizations that are considered positive organizations. Organizations where people are engaged and exceeding expectations. The performance is excellent. How did they get there? And if they exist in the private sector, then they also exist in the public sector. We found 7 organizations and explored their transformation process. How did they start, what went well, and where did they hit a bump and how did they deal with it. These conversations were so inspiring that we felt that more people and organizations in the public sector should know about them, so we decided to write a book. We believe that if they can do it, so can others. The conversations move away from it won’t work, to how can we make it work?
Since writing the book I have been interested in finding more positive organizations both in the private and public sector. There is so much we can learn from them for our own work.
To keep inspiring more and more people Ralph, Frank and I have embarked on the journey to organize the 2nd Global Conference on Positive Change on 15 and 16 November 2018 in Amsterdam. The 1st Conference was such a success, you can see an aftermovie here. The theme for the 2nd conference is: Positive Organizations. Our aim is to inspire, explore and create more positive organizations in Europe and the rest of the world.
Do you know any positive organizations in Europe? We would love to hear about them. Please contact us. I would also love to hear your thoughts on this blog.
Loubna Zarrou is Co-Principal of Corporation for Positive Change and has her own consulting firm SpottingPotential in The Netherlands.