Yammer for Continuous Improvement – Adapting to Change

Yammer groups and communities are a powerful way to manage continuous improvement initiatives in your organisation. Quality and continuous improvement work requires distributed advocates, customer insights, problem solving and adaptive change. Yammer delivers the capability to bring your employees together in one platform for these important and valuable conversations.

Connect Your Continuous Improvement Champions

A powerful place to start is to bring together your continuous improvement experts and champions in a community of practice to share information, insights, expertise and learning. Given the many kinds and models of continuous improvement, even this discipline can become siloed around techniques, philosophies and even jargon. Everyone working on making the organisation better can connect and understand each other’s work, whether they call what they do Lean, Agile, Product, Kaizen, Quality, Continuous Improvement, Productivity or some other term of art. Having this community of practice work out loud together connects your continuous improvement employees and initiatives and makes them discoverable by the wider business. Both members of the community and the wider organisation can learn the approaches in use, how problems get solved and how change happens to benefit the whole organisation.

Share Customer Insights: Value, Pain points, Issues, Broken Processes and Escalations

Continuous improvement work needs to be guided by customer insights and feedback from employees. It can often be hard and costly to gather this on a project by project basis. Yammer groups dedicated to key customers, lines of business or process can be a place to gather continuous feedback from customers leveraging the interactions of employees across the breadth of the organisation. Frontline staff are a key source of insights but often don’t know where to find the process owners or those who can help address issues. Give them a group to share those issues. Operations employees are another key source of lessons on processes and products needing improvement. Help them to connect with the right people to address their issues.

Solve Problems Together

Your quality and continuous improvement advocates can leverage Yammer to work directly with employees involved in the work to solve the problems identified. They can also leverage Yammer for ideation with the input of the wider organisation and to draw in expertise as required from a range of people across the organisation, both known and unknown. Yammer is a powerful coordinator of an organisations talents and capabilities to fulfil strategic goals and to facilitate adaptation.

Create Sustainable Improvement & Change

Embedding quality and continuous improvement initiatives in the organisation requires ongoing change management. That change begins with people understanding the initiatives early, being engaged in their development and having ongoing ownership and advocacy of the initiative beyond its life as project. Finding advocates for your change initiative through Yammer, engaging them and them empowering them to continue the change is a key benefit to your continuous improvement initiative


The goal of all continuous improvement work in your organisation is to create greater value for employees, for customers and for the organisation. Yammer groups and communities are a great way to connect the whole organisation around that important strategic work.

Future-dated Obligations

Nowhere to be

The last year has left us a lot of time to spend with our own thoughts. At the same time we have been surrounded by a relentless algorithmic march of should. Let go of these future-dated social obligations and find some freedom to live now.

The Algorithmic March of Should

Because we carry our mobile devices, we use social media and consume other media, we are constantly told what we should do. Some of this social pressure is advertising. Some social pressure comes from content marketing dressing up advice and suggestions as obligations. Much of the rest is the ongoing argument about contested social norms, expectations and all our other future dated social obligations. Government public service announcements have proliferated. Safety warnings surround us. We live in a relentless should culture. Nobody is ever really cancelled, just told overwhelmingly what they should do, be and believe.

The challenge with should is that it is directive, absolute and can get in the way of decision making today. We become so concerned with what we should do, who we should be, where we should get to and what we should achieve that doing anything at all now can start to feel impossible. It only gets worse when the advice as to what we should is so often confusing, conflicting, unsupported by research or unsuited to our unique time and place.

We experience this most when much of what we are told we should comes from outside of our community, our experience, our wishes and our capabilities. If we are able to engage, understand and negoatiate these social obligations we have a chance to adapt to its exhortations, to understand better and to take it onboard. The canny obligers will tell us that engagement or understanding is also not allowed. We should just obey. Without that engagement, any social obligation is just another voice shouting should.

There is nothing wrong with the many intrinsic social obligations that each of us can choose to live today. Societies function because of our civil society of norms and laws that community members absorb into their lives. It is not a question of unfettered independence, civil society too depends on our willingness to act for others, often with nothing but pain in return. Legal obligations are not in argument here, just a wide range of pressures from social norms to useful advice to other’s often unreasonable expectations.

Future-Dated Obligations

There is a lot that needs to be debated about externally imposed social obligations that stretch into our future. To separate the charlatans and the manipulators from the well-meaning, we need the ability to engage in debate, review and decisions around these obligations. Shutting down engagement won’t convince anyone, improve anything or achieve enduring change. All that happens is the conflict or crisis is kicked further along. Anyone who suggests the topic is undebatable needs to be queried.

Before you take on a raft of future-dated obligations from others, make sure you understand your own needs, wants and desires. Be prepared to engage, to test its applicability and ultimately reject where ill-suited. Be present in your own life and choose what comes in based on your understanding and own expectations. Be gentle and forgiving where you fall short of your own standards and generous when you or others fall short of those social obligations that the others impose.

All those people shouting should want something from you, usually it is only your attention or your wallet. Before you do today and decide what your tomorrow holds, give them your engagement.

Be kind

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.

—Carl W. Buehner

Shine a little light

it may be that
kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world

Michael Blumenthal, Be Kind

Over the weekend, some feedback came back to me through networks of how I was perceived in a former workplace. That feedback was simple – ‘Simon was so nice’. While nice may not be the richest adjective, I came to understood that my kindness to others was appreciated. While I doubt that view was universally held, it was comforting to hear that my efforts in relationships were appreciated. Kindness, generosity, an interest in others and a willingness to help are rare enough in large organisations to be remarkable.

When you put yourself into the shoes of others and seek to understand their situation, it can be hard to engage with people in any other way. There are evil people and they are best avoided. However, so many poorly performing people are confused as to their goals or distorted by the systems in which they operate. In my experience kindness leads to reciprocity and trust and they are on the list of the few things that can help someone to better behaviours. Leaving a little kindness behind as you go about your day makes even unpleasant situations more bearable.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar

Traditional Proverb

Collaboration is one of the few superpowers that we mere mortals can invoke. How else can we borrow the assistance of others – their knowledge, their efforts, their capabilities and more? Kindness oils the wheels of collaboration opening up to us access to a force magnifier of productivity as our networks lean in to return the favour. Don’t view kindness as a reciprocal transaction. I have received way more generosity than I have ever given. Even more extraordinarily, I have received it from strangers who know people in my network or simply saw my kindness to others.

we know the moment kindheartedness
walks in. Each praise be
echoes us back as the years uncount
themselves, eating salt. 

Yusuf Komunyakaa, Kindness

It takes no more effort to be kind and often it takes less when you remove all the scheming, shouting and unintended reactions to unkindness. Kindness need not be confused with being soft. The world yields to those who are purposeful, but kind in their relationships. Everything we do, we do in relationships with others. A little kindness goes a long way on those well networked paths.

PS By the way our productive network relationships don’t end at our social media relationships. They only begin there. As much as it can be tempting to be smarter or sharper or one-up in that medium, don’t. Keyboard warrior, troll, that guy on Linkedin and reply guy aren’t terms of endearment and aren’t titles that lead to greater or more productive things

Surprise

When I hear words
I have uttered to you and forgotten
They are like birds

Sally Ann Kinsolving, Surprise

We have learned a lot about surprises in the last twelve months. Whether it was the shock of a global pandemic disrupting our work and our lives, how much we can get done working from home, the power of freak weather, how far some people will stray from rationality in the name of ideology or who was up to the challenges of supporting us through the year (and who wasn’t). We also were surprised by who was ready for the transitions and who wasn’t able to adapt enough or at all. The surprises of the last year have the potential to teach us a lot.

Humans evolved around the African savannah where surprise is rarely a good thing. We long for the safe, comfortable, stable and predictable. Our brains even tend to default to a linear projection of activity forward in steady ways. This longing can be so strong that we are willing to ignore or suppress the reality of the shocks and surprises that impact us everyday. We do so particularly when those surprises are calling for us to change or make change.

A system of necessity much elaborated
becomes allowances very possibility

AA Ammons, The Surprise of an Ending

Most organisations spend far more time perfecting forecasts, approving business cases based on forecasts, managing performance to forecast and otherwise smoothing out the future than they do on the risk management of surprises. Yet surprises are inevitable. Most annual plan achievements are the outcome of getting to the numbers still after the surprises happened. We rarely reflect on what is lost or what are the costs in that process.

As Daniel Kahneman, notes above, the world is surprising. The world is even more surprising when we set out to make change, to improve things or to create new things. We never quite know in these scenarios what we are going to get. However, the inevitability of surprise is not an excuse for ignorance it is an imperative to plan for surprises, to build in agility and to adapt. Most surprises aren’t that surprising if you consider the risks and opportunities and plan for eventualities that are on the spectrum of possibility. Preparation helps mitigate the shock and panic of surprise on the African savannah and the modern organisation. Knowing whether to freeze, fight or take flight is essential preparation.

You will be surprised. Expect ‘mistakes’ to disrupt the certainty of performance expectations. Plan and prepare for it.

It was misfortune on that cold night
falling on someone’s house,
but not mine

Jackson Wheeler, How Good Fortune Surprises Us

Yammer for Communicators

Planning your use of Yammer

Yammer is a tool that looks straight forward to many communicators. It is an employee communication tool so we can use it to broadcast to employees. This mindset is why so many communicators focus first on the number of employees on the platform and the communication features available. Employee engagement matters and so do the breadth of features available. However, highly valuable and strategically powerful use of Yammer is about more than numbers and buttons wrapped around broadcast messages. There is a critical opportunity that simple broadcasting to employees in Yammer misses. Yammer is both a communication tool and a collaboration tool for communities. This two-way potential opens up new opportunities for interactions and new power to your communication strategies.

Communication AND Collaboration

This two-way potential of Yammer is critical in this time because it highlights how we need to respond to the uncertainties and challenges facing our organisation. Rather than pretending they don’t exist or ironing out differences in the name of security, we have the opportunity to leverage our whole organisation’s talents and capabilities to navigate and adapt. That’s ultimately what we come together in organisations to achieve. Yammer magnifies the power of organisations to leverage talents and capabilities. The communicators in organisations play a critical role in supporting this process.

Organisations exist to change to meet the needs of customers and the environment

Communicators are very familiar with planning broadcast messaging in an organisation. We work from the audience, through objectives, to the message, delivery and call to action. In thinking about the power of the two-way communication opportunity, communicators can use similar questions. It begins with understanding who is in the community and what purposes they share. That planning develops by recognising the the process forward is a two-way interaction. Communicators need to think through how to start the conversation, how best to engage that community and ultimately the work that they want achieved together.

Planning out the engagement

Planning for a successful collaboration must also leverage the understanding of communities in the Value Maturity Model of Collaboration. Communities are comprised of people who come together to share purpose and build trust. Organisations are comprised of many overlapping groups like this. If you want to engage these groups on Yammer or any other collaboration tool, you will need to work through how those people connect in purpose, share sufficient context to work together and begin to solve common problems with the capabilities of the organisation. Psychological safety, working out loud and the degrees of freedom to make change become critical accelerators of value on that journey and what ultimately powers the value of the work. The Value Maturity Model Canvas is a tool to enable anyone planning a collaboration to work through questions aligned to this model.

The Value Maturity Model of Collaboration

At a high level the role of the canvas is to map our the key questions aligned to the Value Maturity Model: who needs to connect, what do they need to know to solve what problem. Even these simple questions can guide a communicator in thinking about how they can better leverage Yammer for greater value in their organisation.

Do you understand the who, what, how and what if? for you? for your employees?

Planning in this way is important for communicators who want to leverage the benefits of Yammer because it will enable them to adopt more valuable use of the platform Yammer offers an organisation and also support other leaders that they advise to do the same. Swoop Analytics has mapped out a range of personas of user behaviours that reflect different value in the use of Yammer. You can see how these personas move from passive, to communication only and ultimately to two-way interaction that fosters the wider network.

The value of users differs – from communication to value creators and value multipliers

In its recent Yammer Benchmarking report for 2020, Swoop Analytics has also identified that groups in Yammer move through a very similar continuum. This reflects the fact that network collaboration is often fractal with patterns repeating at different level. The pattern is so similar that I have adapted their image for personas to reflect the different types of groups moving from inactive through to value multiplying. Communications professionals in organisations can play a key role in helping groups to interact in more valuable ways. If you are planning to leverage groups, remember announcements and sharing groups are useful but the real value comes from a deeper two-way interaction.

The value of groups differs from communication to value

No two organisations are the same. No two groups are the same. No two employees are the same. You will get the sense that there is no one pattern for success in Yammer for communicators. In fact the uses are extraordinarily diverse and reflect the growing value of two-way interactions through the maturity journey for individual users and also for the groups together. Whether you use text, images, video, GIFs, Q&A or something more to start your interaction, you are only just beginning a journey of change together with the employees of the organisation.

A myriad of valuable use cases. As many as you have employees and work challenges

As role models of communications best practice and as advisors to senior leaders, communicators can play a key role in enabling all employees in a Yammer network to understand how best to leverage the platform. While Yammer may support organisational top-down messaging, two-way means it is also powerful as a vehicle for peer-to-peer and bottom-up conversations, work and change initiatives. Fostering productive mindsets and behaviours across the employees, groups and organisation will help power this change. Those mindsets have been described on this blog before. Importantly, these mindset challenge traditional communications models of trying to get a message and its delivery perfect every time. Because you are planning for interaction and engagement, there is a chance to improve the messaging and its understanding over time. Thankfully there’s also the ability to edit typos in Yammer these days. Open, generous and purposeful listening and engagement from all employees whether senior leaders or frontline employees will be the foundation of the kind of trust that multiplies value and speeds organisational agility.

Changing mindsets around work and communication – not everything is about perfection

The two-way potential of Yammer as a platform for communication and for collaboration is what enables it to play a key role in helping organisations to adapt to change. Open communities, groups and a culture that enables employees to foster change will help lead that transformation. Ultimately an organisation’s success depends on how well it aligns its people and leverages their known and unknown talents and capabilities in performance and needed change. We can’t know everything all the time, but we can create a platform that enables people to share what they know, do what they can do to help and campaign for necessary change. The communicators in organisations have an important role to play in taking Yammer far beyond an employee communications platform to an open platform to leverage talents and capability for strategy and change.

If you are interested in how best to leverage Yammer in your organisation, reach out to Simon Terry and request a copy of the Collaboration Maturity Model canvas to help with how you and your employees can create greater value through everyday work.

In a world without care, it is concern all the way down

Care enough to create change?

Introduction: Concerned but Uncaring

In the fifth week of a customer experience nightmare over a fundamentally simple transaction, I am in the midst of a stark reminder of the difference between concern and care. Every agent I deal with in my customer experience disaster is deeply concerned at the incovenience, the delays, their failure to deliver over and over again and concerned that this be fixed. At least, the scripts they cite endeavour to convey that concern.

However, neither they nor their organisation have any care for me. The system is established to move me through a series of deeply concerned transactions with no interest in the overall care for the customer. Nobody has enough care that the process doesn’t work to change it. Everyone accepts their role in the broken process to pass the customer on to the next broken process. Achieving an outcome for the customer is lost in the concerned delivery of tasks that never end.

In a world without care, it is concern all the way down.

Enough Concerned Voices. We Need Care

Everywhere I look I hear deeply concerned voices. So many of our global challenges are roiling debates of earnest concerned voices. We have battles to demonstrate our great concern and the conflicts of our concerns. There’s so much concern that we lose sight of people, action and the specific outcomes of change.

In all this concern, we have lost sight of the obligations of care. Care is not talking. Care is action. Care is taking specific actions for specific people to achieve meaningful outcomes. Care is delivering an unique individual or a unique group a specific outcome that matters to them.

Care involves moving beyond transactions to change the system to deliver better outcomes for those specific people.

If you are concerned, you have started the journey to care. To complete that journey you will need:

  • Understanding of those affected by your concerns
  • Clarity of their goals and how they want them to be achieved
  • Compassion with their circumstances and the experience that you create
  • A passion for action to create change for those people
  • Willingness to care about those who share your concerns, find them and collaborate with them

Concern without care is simply theatre. Empty voices shouting into the wilderness will not enable the change we need. We need to partner our concern with care to deliver the meaningful action that will make change.

Care in community is the way forward. We can leverage our concerns to make the first steps to change.

Brittle

Of brick and scale, I can say

There are other unfathomable things
that speak to both moment and beyond.

Anne Coray, The Egyptians Had It All Wrong

We tend to think of success built in stone and steel. However, both of these substances can be brittle when it is time to flex. Long term success is about our ability to flex, to learn and to build new capability.

The last year has been a massive shock to the global economic system and our own personal experience of work and life. We are coping with a significant magnitude of adaptation in a compressed timeframe. The forces of those changes can reveal our capabilities and our organisations to be flexible or brittle.

Flexible enough?

If you have seen the cities of Asia, one of the extraordinary sites is the bamboo scaffolding around construction sites. That scaffolding of sections of bamboo tied together can reach many dozens of stories high. The material is cheap and plentiful. Tied together by expert teams it is also flexible enough to cover the needs of construction crews and survive moonsoons.

I live in a house that is over a hundred years old. It is a weatherboard. The foundations aren’t always great and much has been replaced over time. The walls shift and crack a little. However, while a house has been here for a hundred plus years it is not the same house. Over that time it has been renovated, renewed and changed in an ongoing way to suit the needs of its occupants and the wear and tear of use and weathering. The ability of the house to flex can be an advantage in storms, heatwaves and other sudden changes.

Our bodies too go through a process of renewal. I may not be as old as my house, but I know that every part of my body is adapting to changes, renewing itself, learning and growing. Luckily I haven’t broken bones but I know that it is a consequence of the body facing too much stress and being unable to flex. Something has to give.

I must renew my bones in your kingdom,
I must still uncloud my earthly duties.

Pablo Neruda, Still Another Day I

Built to Last?

Careers and lives need to flex and be renewed, but that isn’t always part of our discussions. We can tend to see careers as monoliths built stone by stone, reinforced by steel. This discussion can bring a brittleness to our experience of careers. We assume that the stone and steel is the outcome of successes, when much of the advancement in our careers follows failure. Our flexibility and our growth comes from these moments. Failure helps us adapt because we can become too settled and cease to keep adapting to what comes next. Small shocks help us correct cause before bigger shocks arrive.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

We have all met people who have risen quickly, one success on another. These careers like steep towers of stone can look impressive. Surprisingly many of these careers are not deeply planned. Success followed success and the stacking of stones inevitable. However, these people and their careers can be particularly brittle. Continuing that run of success can become central to a person’s identity. They chose to succeed, not the path. Pretence creeps in to cover gaps. Image overcomes the focus on listening, learning and adaptation. Fixed mindsets of the drivers of personal success don’t prepare people for the shocks that always come.

Success can also make our relationships brittle. Instead of a fluid two-way flow of information and authority, like in a wirearchy, we become increasingly fixed on power relationships and managing the flow of information. Building the capability of others which was once part of our success becomes a threat to our position. Without the flexibility and support of a network we are tied into a rigid structure of unforgiving relationships. Power increases the expectations and if not carefully managed can reduce our ability to flex and adapt.

All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness

David Whyte, Consolations

Long term success is built on the flexibility of renewal. Lifelong learning is a key attribute of the ability to anticipate, to build capability and to recover from shocks, breaks and loss. None of us are born predestined for a path, a career or a life. We make that life in the living and by how we adapt and change to the circumstances as they arise.

What got us to this point is much less important than how we adapt to this moment. Success in our last role or career can provide a foundation but the work is how we build something suited to the challenges of now. The heart of this flexibility is asking ourselves “what do I need to do to succeed in this moment now and to prepare for what might come next?”

but when the spill
comes the brook will have
another heap
in its way, another
shambles to get
through or around; or
over: how much time does
a brook have: how much
time a brook has!

AR Ammons, The Brook Has Worked out the Bend

Confidence

We have a strange array of language to discuss confidence. People have and show it. We find it, whether ours or some generic stock. Some times confidence is given lightly or bestowed on others formally. It comes from within. For others, confidence is structure that crumbles, is rock-solid or builds.

The vagaries of this language reflect the fact that confidence is a feeling – a feeling of belief in or reliance on someone or thing. That status also highlights a limitation of some of the language above. Feelings are fragile and ephemeral. Feelings are contagious and transferable, but they aren’t simple gifts; what is received may not quite match the intent of the giver. Feelings surface and can be discovered but it is not a process of search. Feelings are influenced by thoughts, but they are part of being, not thinking. Feelings are human and that very human experience means that they don’t fit well into predictable business processes that seem to demand confidence in everything everywhere all the time.

Few people are confident about everything. Most people restrict their confidence to specific tasks and situations. Advice to ‘Be Confident’ doesn’t well meet the feelings of uncertainty that resolve around specific situations and tasks. Many of the people perceived to be confident are simply better at disguising their uncertainty and have learned techniques to paper over the cracks. Simply having techniques to give you more time to think, like paraphrasing the question back or a standard introductory patter that buys time, can make you feel more confident by avoiding the perceived pressure of silence and eager ears.

Confidence in your own performance

As hard as it may be, confidence in your own performance begins within. It is your own feelings that need to be sure about what you will achieve. We all have the ability to doubt. We especially doubt those who may seek to build our confidence when we don’t share the appraisal. That is why the gift of confidence is so fragile. However, remember you don’t need to establish universal confidence. You need only feel confident in this task for this time.

Confidence is a classic example of an area in which you need to act yourself to a new way of thinking. Nobody improved their confidence by focusing on the risks and the negatives. We need to concentrate on what we can believe in – the positives, what works and what can be done. Remember you just have to feel confident and hold that to the end. Some times it is preparation and effort. Other times it is dress and attitude that helps us feel confident. Whatever it is, put in the efforts sustain that feeling throughout. When things begin to crumble remain focused on the feeling of confidence and doing what you can do to get through your performance.

The Confidence of Others

Winning the confidence of others is often about performance – both delivery and the acting. Remember you are playing to a feeling, not a fact. People will be most convinced by your own feelings of confidence or the confidence others show in you. They will never be convinced by a hint of your doubts.

Remember that others need not love you universally. They need only have confidence in you for a specific task, a specific role or a specific challenge. Confidence in the relationship can grow over time. Again act yourself into their thinking (and your own).

The confidence of others is rarely transactional. Depth of relationships will drive relationships. Invest time in others and allow them to understand your specific skills and expertise. Invite others to provide feedback on what works and learn from their advice on what you do well. Encourage them to share their opinions with others.

Hidden Collaboration

Trees in a forest can work together to share resources and support each other. The universe is held together by the gravity of dark matter we can’t see. There’s a lot going on we can’t see and that includes the collaboration in our organisations.

We focus on the successes of individuals. We celebrate these highlights. What we tend not to see at all the little moments of support, encouragement and enablement that make success possible. The human equivalent of the ‘world wide wood’ or ‘dark matter’ holding our organisations together is everyday collaboration in everyday work.

We may set individual targets but our organisations run on collaborative efforts powered by trust and norms. Imagine if you had to negotiate each individual element of support or every step in an organisation process that supports your work. In functional organisations, this support adapts and changes as needed to just everyone performs. That change is powered by purposeful change agents making things better for everyone.

In a worldwide wood, the vehicle of sharing is fungi woven with the roots of trees. In our organisations, this collaboration and adaptation runs along the lines of communication from informal corridor conversations to formal strategy presentations. The give and take of the organisation flows from its interactions.

An engaged and agile workforce is one that is constantly communicating- customer needs, market changes, problems and opportunities. It is also communicating the less visible interpersonal elements of mutual understanding, shared context, alignment and trust. Little moments of give and take build powerful cultures of trust and support.

Nilofer Merchant coined the Success Equation as follows:

Success = (purpose x talent) raised to the power of culture.

As I have said before, the rewards to a collaborative, learning, and supportive culture are exponential. However, too many let this be the hidden and unmanaged part of their organisation.

We invest a massive amount of time development and resources to support individual achievement. We run the risk of missing the networks of support and learning that make that achievement possible. Spend as much time and money on the hidden collaboration that powers performance and you will be rewarded.

Brave

Brave or foolhardy?

Bravery is an outcome, not an input.

The internet is full of exhortations to be brave. Thoughtleaders love to tell us to be brave, rock boats and take risks. It’s one of those simple exhortations that’s heroic and nonspecific enough to sound motivational and yet inoffensive.

Most change agents understand bravery differently. They didn’t set out to be brave. Usually they wanted to make things better in a small way. Many expected it to be easy or straightforward. Over time they were drawn to make purposeful, meaningful change.

Bravery comes when the push back hits. Change always faces opposition. The bravery is a response to the need to continue and to do more when there’s resistance. Whether the risks are deliberate or entirely accidental, risk is secondary to the outcome of the change.

Successful change agents are rarely foolhardy. Their risk tolerances may be greater than others. However, the risk appetite is combined with a calculated consideration of the challenge and the strategy to make change acceptable. Foolhardy enthusiasm is admirable but rarely effective. It’s often frightening short lived.

So if you feel you need to be more brave in work, life or other domain, don’t go looking for risk. Risk will always find you wherever you are. If you want to be more brave, go looking for those people or things that matter enough to you to keep going, especially when it would be easier to stop.

Bravery is an output of relationships or purpose. That’s why it’s so often correlated with success.