BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD
A project is a synonym for change. Project management executes the vision and mission of a change into reality by a project manager. However, there is a need to shift the parochial paradigm from managing and leading the change to making and owning the change.
The next gen project manager doesn’t just manage change and wishes for change. They take ownership and accountability to make the change happen. Using their knowledge, resources, and determination, they push through the resistance and drive the change. They may not possess all the skills needed, but they know best how to use their resources within the constraints. They are the ones who connect the dots, unearth the blind spots and influence the outcomes through cogent focus and commitment. They are determined. They transform their circle of influence. They are the Changemakers.
In today’s fast-paced world, most mediocre project managers are engrossed in following processes and systems. They do not think out of the box. Without a holistic approach to optimize current structure and systems, they fail to achieve their outcomes efficiently. They are more focused on ticking all the boxes, indulging in the quick GTM strategy.
In contrast, the Changemakers, armed with their design thinking mindset, focus not only on improving the customer experience but on overcoming resistance from all corners. With their firm beliefs and passion in stride, those people-oriented Changemakers are thoughtful, compassionate, and full of empathy. Changemakers are those people with humility and integrity who not only use their skills, expertise, and authority to bring positive change, but also to set new trends. Who doesn’t know of revolutionary changemakers like Mahatma Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King?
The Changemakers use their collaborative nature, expertise, and authority in a way that brings positive social change and affirms the humanity of stakeholders. Changemakers have the freedom, confidence, and societal support to address any problem and drive change. Table 1 illustrates the difference between mediocre project managers and Changemakers.
Changemakers focus on lean changes at a time which can lead to a monumental transformation or WoW (Ways of Working) revolution over time. Their primary focus is the MVC (minimum viable changes), ensuring that teams stick to changes that worked and discard those that didn’t. They ensure these changes happen gradually, not suddenly, and out of nowhere. Changemakers weigh the cost of a change and prioritize changes by considering which of them would have the larger impact in a shorter time, thus implementing it in “thin slices” that work for stakeholders. They also assess how well changes work in practicality, applying that experience for future changes.
Changemakers unconsciously follow the Agile manifestos: responding to change over following a plan and harnessing it for the customer’s competitive advantage. They make the journey cherishable, relatable, and memorable for the people they work with. Changemakers rewire the brain to change the de facto response.
The Changemaker focuses on changing culture by revamping and fixing the system. They come out of their comfort zone and move towards the learning zone, ultimately breaking into the growth zone. They are the next-gen leaders; they are the ground breakers; they are the social drivers; they are the social entrepreneurs. They are reinventing WoW. They are not only the game influencer and the game player but also the game-changer. They are the Changemakers.
It’s time for project managers to upskill and upgrade themselves. Think differently, change the game, and make the change!