What would you do, if it all depended on you?
What would you do, if you didn’t have any more excuses such as “it’s out of my control” or “I’ve always said it should have been that way“?
What would you change in your life, in your work, in your city…in the world?
These are daring questions, indeed. Most of us would probably answer “why bother thinking about it? It’s not the case. It does NOT depend on me”.
Well…at SPII we believe in a different approach.
And SPII Evolution, the journey of change management we undertook to move our company from the past to the future, had exactly this as one of its main goals.
Who does it depend on?
This was one of the most pressing questions we were facing when we joined the international group that Schaltbau was.
Who does the success of this new venture depend on?
It is easy to think it is someone else. There is always a CEO, a boss, a colleague, a “someone” who takes decisions. Sometimes it’s even fate, luck or destiny.
Truth is, as long as it doesn’t depend on us, life is easier, isn’t it?
Well, in 2016, at the dawn of a new beginning for SPII, we couldn’t afford that.
So the great question we asked ourselves with Fabio Tognetti when crafting the journey of SPIIevo was: how do we make everyone feel that everything changes, now?
There and then, we wanted to dismantle that negative culture that says: “it’s always been done this way“.
We wanted to make people feel and believe that change was not only possible, it was THEIR JOB to make it happen – no one else.
How? Well, easy. Just showing it to them.
So we issued the challenge.
It depends on YOU: the challenge of SPIIevo
DDM or DDA? This was the challenge.
Choosing between two different ideas, two different cultures, two different points of view over life: it “Depends On Others” (DDA is the acronym od “dipende dagli altri” in italian) versus it “Depends On Me” (DDM, “dipende da me”).
We asked all the colleagues to think what would they change, if it depended on them.
And not just to think about it: to actually work on their idea, test it, try it, work on it, champion for it, and then…sell it to the company.
For this challenge, the whole SPII was divided into four groups, four basic elements: fire, water, air, earth.
Each of them would spend months ideating, questioning, testing and preparing, to be the change that they wanted to see in the company.
The final goal was not only to present concrete projects at the final event, in front of a jury, but also to put themselves on the line and implement the winning one, the most interesting for the company.
They had to really sell the idea, to negotiate for it, to convince the management.
Because there is no “depends on others”, it is always a “depends on me”. Even when it does depend on others, if I am able to show the other side the benefits of my idea, it can still turn into a DDM.
There is not a “company that should implement change”.
YOU are the company!
Then, be the change. Do not wait for it, and do not resist it.
It was a challenge aiming for a shift in mindset, to convince people they didn’t just have to suggest ideas, they had to sell them and make themselves advocates of change.
Spii needed to generate awareness, which is something dangerous because it is linked to a very sensible topic: responsibility.
If I don’t know that I can do something, then I may not do it and be good with it. But if I know, and I decide not to do it…then it is my fault.
More than company culture: a personal choice
The pathway that SPIIevo rolled out in front of everyone at SPII was one of great awareness. A personal choice that is not limited to work, but embraces one’s whole life.
“An experience of evolution”, as Fabio defined it.
Within the company, it surely helped to eradicate the typical culture of fruitless, unproductive whining and moaning.
“It’s not up to me, do you know how many times I’ve said it should be done this way?” it’s probably something you will never hear, walking down the halls of SPII in Saronno.
This path, the whole SPII Evolution experience, it’s been a gift to everyone, to carry for a lifetime, even when times get hard and it is difficult to see through the “DDA”.
This is why the prize for the winners was a symbolic one – the dialogue in the dark experience at Milan’s Institute for the Blind.
Because, as Paola explained it: “when you’re in the dark you have to use all your senses to figure out how to find the right way“.
In life and in work, there is not always sunshine: sometimes there is darkness, and it has to be faced. Some things depends on others, it’s true, but it is important to understand that even when the result it’s NOT up to you, it’s still up to you how to react.
What do you choose, then?
Who does it depend on?
See you next time,