This guest post by Adelle Desouza, group CSR manager at Colt Technology Services looks in to why many people are all talk and no action when it comes to change.
I have written for a few years now on the importance of diversifying the demographic of the data centre, IT & telecoms industries- a problem that has become a passion of mine. To drive this change, I have attended workshops, led presentations and written articles and blogs on the subject, with huge verbal support but no real action. But now at Colt I have been able to do something beyond all of my previous efforts. I have initiated it via a graduate scheme here at one of Europe’s biggest telecommunication companies.
This September Colt will open the doors for their first formalised intake of recent graduates. Introducing graduates to the world of working in science, technology, engineering and maths, not just in the UK but also France and Germany, and is a huge step in the right direction.
Concept versus reality
Whilst we have had to move fast with initial discussions only starting four months ago, the scheme has allowed me to observe and discover the impacts of transformation. The aspect that has proved the most contentious is the probability of reality. My observation and newest concern is that the thought of change is not a problem, it’s the reality and the “what ifs” that stand in the way.
The closer to reality change becomes, the thoughts of positivity, progression and promotion stall. It would seem that the thought of a highly likely change can stir more feeling than its result. How will we do it? What will it look like in the interim? Do we have a process for that? What if? What if? What if?
This is not to say people are against the outcome of the change process but rather the interim of the change process as the probability nears. Welcoming change, much like Colt has done with the creation of the graduate programme, is a culture to be reinforced by senior leaderships teams but it is not something that only they can initiate.
Leading the global CSR programme at Colt means it is my role, and luckily for me my passion, to drive progress across a number of work streams.
Internally and externally there will be those who have in theory sponsored change until the possibility grows closer to reality. You will hear excuses of budgets, you will hear excuses relating to process and procedure but if you believe in change for the best I encourage you persevere.
The monotony of status quo plagues businesses, schools and even university graduate career choices. But there are ideas out there, people at all levels and from both genders that can challenge the norm and drive progress through the contentious roads of planning to execution.
Working with people who can help sponsor change for the better allows an attitude to transform into an action. With applicants for the Colt Graduate Scheme coming in on a daily basis, the project continues, and I will sure to scribe my future experiences once the change has results to showcase. In the meantime I’m interested to hear how others have charged change in the companies they work for.