James Keough is the Chief Human Resources Officer at MacAllister Machinery, Co. With his extensive experience around employee engagement and people strategy, he’s learned the importance of HR in transforming an organization. But you don’t have to be in HR to make a difference.

In this episode, James speaks on a topic that he’s passionate about – change. To find out how you can be a change agent, in HR and beyond, listen to the conversation.

Truth You Can Act On:

1. Be a Nimble Leader
Supporting Quote:
James Keough: “You have to embrace being nimble, as it relates to understanding the reasons for change and the value of change. We can’t help make change until we model the behaviors and the thought processes behind leading change.”

2. Change Your Core Belief to Change the Way You Think
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “We have to be forward thinking and look at the need for change, and how do we help spur change? The only way that we can change behaviors is if we can change the way we believe or think. So we sort of have to get it in our own heads and our own mindset that we have to understand, change ourselves again, the reasons for the value of it, uh, so that we can help spur the process with our internal clients.”

3. Tie the Change to the Why
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “It’s really important that you understand the payoff about change. And you have to really think about that, because you’re asking people to change their posture maybe from a historical standpoint like,  ‘I’ve always been this way. It’s always worked for me. Why should I change?’ So you have to really focus and think about that why question in order for people to be willing to go through the discomfort, sometimes the conflict, that can be associated with change.”

4. Know and Honor the Culture
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “It’s really understanding culture and ensuring that you are looking at all aspects of culture before working to spur change. So there was an experience where there were several failures that occurred in trying to spur change because of not really having the best grasp on what was the framework of that culture and where did the roots start? An important thing with change in companies is that you have to understand where those roots are in culture because many of the companies haven’t changed for a number of years.”

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