Back in 2009 when it came to replacing the annual performance review process with something more engaging, it took me three attempts to get the Board on board despite it being welcomed by a number of managers - 10 years later the new process has contributed to increased engagement, improved customer service and greatly improved productivity.
In 2011 it took me four months to get the Board to see that some of the projects being led by a top four consultancy were not aligned with our values or culture or right for our people - four months later the projects were realigned to our vision.
It took me six months to get all members of the crew on side with the design and delivery of our Coaching Cards and H.O.T (Honest, Open and Transparent) Conversation Cards - not because they didn't think they would work, but because they didn't believe anyone would actually buy them, we've now sold hundreds of both.
I have lots more examples of where I've had to persevere to get things over the line, and this isn't uncommon in HR. You see a lot of our role in HR doesn't have data, stats and figures to back it up. Gaining feedback from your people and presenting this to the Board doesn't always give them the confidence to spend money, or make a difference when you can't tangibly measure the outcomes of what happier, healthier, more engaged and more productive people will have on the bottom line, and so we got knocked back, sometimes time and and time again.
We shouldn't let this stop us. If we know it's going to make a positive impact, and we believe it's the right thing to do, then we have to keep going, we have to keep believing and we have to persevere.
If I had listened to all of the people who told me I'd never make Chrysalis work, we wouldn't be here today. If I had given up the first time someone said no to doing business with me, I wouldn't be here and leading a growing team six years later. If we had decided to stop delivering The Power of HR the first we were told that it was too 'out there' we wouldn't have had the success with this programme that we had and a number of HR pros would not be changing HR in their organisations in the same way.
If I listened to the opinions of others each time they told me my ideas were a bit too crazy, we wouldn't be supporting clients in the way we are, and I doubt getting any repeat business in the way we do.
No doubt you'll have seen the images and memes that talk about how many times Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Jim Carrey, Michael Jordan, J.K Rowling, Oprah and many others failed before they got to where they are now. They all persevered, they all believed in what they were doing and they went on to make it happen and they made it happen with great success.
Being the first to do something isn't always easy. Having to prove why a change should be made isn't always easy. Having to get people to understand your vision isn't always easy. But I believe if you are passionate and driven enough, then you WILL make it happen.
This year I have worked with more HR Pros than ever, and they are all trying to drive change, to do things differently, to make a difference in their organisations for their people, their teams and themselves, and for many of them, it's been hard work, but totally worthwhile in the end.
I've always thought that one thing we do well in HR is our ability to keep going. We battle on no matter what. Sometimes this is to our detriment, we could learn to walk away on occasions, but we keep going. We put the hours in. We deliver what we need to deliver.
We put up with the stick, and the lack of the support from our colleagues across the business, we already have a great deal of resilience and we know how to bounce back and keep on going. But, we don't always do this for ourselves. When it's our ideas, we can give up too easily. When it's our change we want to implement, we can give up too easily. When it's our fight, we can give up too easily. And largely we give up easily on our own stuff because we're having to fight the battles of others.
Persevere with everything that matters. It's totally worth it when you make it happen.