Leading Through Transition (Innovative Adaptation)



Leading people, teams, and your organisation through transition or adaptation is a critical leadership capability.


There is one fundamental truth that applies to every organisation’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. Businesses can only transform at the rate they can get their employees to embrace change. Getting people to let go of long-held ways of doing things, moving them outside of comfort zones and gaining employee buy-in to new ideas and approaches is the single most significant impediment to organisational transformation.


Neuroscientists have now discovered why people perceive risk, resist change and cling to the legacy ways they approach their role. They have also found a practical approach for removing this resistance and fostering greater employee accountability, adaptability, and resilience. The answer was uncovered in the emerging field of Motivational Intelligence (MQ).


The People Problem:

Solving the People Problem will develop your organisational culture and motivational intelligence (MQ), enabling you to become a driving force for innovative change, team cohesion, high performance, and productivity within your organisation.


Having the right people with the right mindset and skillset is fundamental to every organisational vision. Without these people, our ability to embrace change, adopt innovation and take calculated risk is just not going to happen. We need to have a clearly defined strategy to move our people from where they are now to where we need them to be, creating a motivational mindset shift in embracing change.


Motivational Intelligence (MQ)

MQ is the most recently discovered form of human intelligence and, in many ways, the condition that plays the most significant role in individual success. People who struggle with MQ tend to be more close-minded, change-averse and rigidly stuck in their way. People with higher levels of MQ will exhibit higher levels of ownership, adaptability, and willingness to take the initiative.


I will briefly examine the two critical aspects of why we struggle with adopting innovation, transition, and change within businesses and organisations and what can be done to counteract this normal human behaviour.



Risk Perception:

Risk perceptions – or an individual’s perceived susceptibility to a threat – are a crucial component of many behavioural change theories, particularly when it comes to adopting innovation and technology and even more so when it comes to organisational transition and the adaptation of new ways of working.


Risk perceptions are often targeted in behavioural change interventions, such as understanding the organisational culture and leadership motivations to embrace this change. Recent scientific studies strongly suggest (Prospect Theory, Mindset & Human Motivation) that those interventions deriving from a motivational change can successfully engage and change risk perceptions and immediately positively impact the organisation.



Organisational Culture:

Organisational Culture is a system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs that govern how people behave in organisations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid.


Building an organisational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation is one of the biggest challenges we have faced since the industrial revolution.


Creating the right organisational culture to enable adaptation of innovation and behavioural change must come from within (internal environment). One size does not fit all; businesses require open, honest, and transparent two-way communication throughout the organisation and individual ownership of the process and strong leadership. These can only be influenced by understanding personal concerns, beliefs, and mindsets around perceived change, adoption, or risk.


We are likely all too familiar with the influence that organisational culture has on the business. 


We see it every time we try to implement a change and are faced with resistance. 


We see it when we try to leverage a new process, and it just doesn’t seem to get any traction. 



We see it in the “frozen layer of middle management”, where the best executive-level strategies and ideas from the field always seem to die. We see it in the departmental or functional silos that break down communication and collaboration.


Quite candidly, nearly every business challenge can ultimately be distilled down to a “people problem“.


Every “people problem” has a cultural component that is perpetuating it.


Just look around – you won’t have to look far– the odds are that there is a cultural problem slowing your business down right now.


As with any industry or organisational transition or change, we always see pushback, a rejection culture, or a lack of adoption to change.


Think back to the early ’90s, both within the construction and energy sector around behavioural safety.


Behavioural safety is based on the psychological theory of behaviourism. The Oil and Gas industry introduced Behaviour-based safety over 20 years ago and only after a long period of frustration around the number of injuries and deaths in the industry.


Despite continued efforts to introduce better policies, procedures, rules and regulations, the number of deaths and injuries plateaued, and it was evident that the key to becoming incident and injury-free was to change the mindset and create what we call a ‘safety culture’.


The change took effort, money, and of course, time, years even. A ‘culture’ is not created overnight.


The most significant barrier to adopting this new way of doing things was buy-in at all levels. Buy-in was hard to achieve as we asked people to do something different from what they were used to doing. If they had not been hurt themselves or experienced it first-hand, there was, therefore, no need or justification for change.


Twenty years ago, we could not fully understand why it was so hard to adopt such change, especially if it would only make things better, save lives, livelihoods, and quality of life, amongst many other positive impacts.


Twenty years ago, Motivational Intelligence (MQ) did not exist. Had we had access to MQ knowledge, how it influences decision making, and the ability or non-ability to adopt change, maybe that cultural journey would have been easier. Understanding what motivates us and how we perceive events is key to understanding how we influence behavioural change.


Real and Present Danger

It’s abundantly clear that climate change is already impacting how we do business, how we live our lives and the ever-growing pressure to be innovative in the way we do things, ensuring we are all working towards our net-zero commitments.

This requires a huge mindset change, particularly in adopting new technologies and methods to meet this challenge or risk being left behind and redundant. With change and innovation intensifying in the coming years, can we afford to ignore the barriers that our people create?


“Adaptation to innovation and new technology within our organisations is like running into a powerful headwind and very rarely a tailwind.”


With COP 26 being held in Glasgow, there is no better time than the present to look at the challenges of embracing innovation and change required to lead your business or organisation in this new era.


As with climate change, the innovation in new technologies required to meet the UK net zero emissions law requires a new way of thinking, doing things, and above all, leadership.


Some people love learning about new technology and how to adopt them. Others resent the change to what they consider tried and true systems and processes – a workflow they can do with their eyes closed. For the new technology to succeed in your company, you will need to win over your team to its use. Ideally, you can make them see its benefits and get them excited about those benefits.


The exponential rate at which technology is developing, mutating, and adapting, especially throughout 2020, is so fast that you can’t help but be swept away in a tidal wave of progress—whether you’re ready for it or not.



The People and Leadership Solution

People create the organisational culture; people create change. The leadership characteristics required to drive innovation adaptation and organisational change are more important today than ever before in history. Change is happening at an unprecedented pace. According to a report from McKinsey and Co, change is occurring 10 X faster, at a 300 x greater scale with 3000 x more impact; a new level of an organisational leader is required.


Something fundamental is changing in business. And companies that anticipate and adapt to these profound shifts will have the best chance to succeed in the new era.



Today’s businesses need to be focusing on being better, not bigger.


Our ‘Leading With Motivational Intelligence‘ Executive Diploma looks at ways to expand your knowledge on what it takes to be a transitional leader and an ambassador for change.


It focuses on the motivational mindsets and human behaviours that enable successful leaders to face and overcome the challenges encountered during rapid change, implementation of innovation and transitional times, equipping them with the skills to promote transition and drive change at all levels within the organisation.


Built upon practical experience and research involving executive leaders, divisional managers, human resource professionals, psychologists, educators, and human performance specialists, The Power Within’s a transformative approach to talent and leadership development far transcends the traditional employee training and development approach.


Our MQ framework addresses fundamental skills gaps and, more importantly, focuses on closing the underlying motivation gaps that ultimately are the root cause of virtually all employee performance issues. Our transformative development curriculum captures 97% buy-in from participants and consistently delivers training solutions that yield success rates and unprecedented recommendation rates from clients.


The Power Within Training has helped individuals and organisations develop the unlimited mindset and Motivational Intelligence (MQ) necessary to succeed. To date, leaders from some of the most successful companies globally have leveraged Motivational Intelligence’s proprietary development process to create the growth mindset that matters.


We specialise in leveraging the growth mindset and performance psychology of motivational intelligence (MQ), the same motivation used by some of the most successful and iconic companies worldwide.


If you are looking to be a more innovative and influential leader able to elevate the success of your business and your team, then this is the conversation for you.



We look forward to having it with you.


James Fleming,

The Power Within Training,

The Motivational Intelligence Company



Research Materials