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Adapting is Basic. Try This Instead.

Adapting is Basic. Try This Instead.

If there were an over-used word in the teamwork/HR landscape in the last couple of years, it would probably be adapting. How much digital ink has been spilled about adapting to the new world of work—to hybrid, to layoffs, to economic uncertainty? 

One of the things we’ve been hearing from the C-suite (more about that in a bit) is that, yes, companies have been adapting like crazy (sometimes feeling very loco), but what’s too often missing is the outcomes of all this change. 

Employees and teams are not absorbing the changes to new ways of working. Adapting is an important first step, but can just sit at the base level… and we think few people show up to work aiming to be basic. 

That’s why our word for 2024 is “metabolize”. 


Metabolizing, in our point of view, is next level, high-performing integration of whatever change has just occurred. It’s when you take a supplement, and it doesn’t just (ahem) “pass through” but it’s absorbed and positively impacts your performance. It’s where change becomes woven in healthy ways—where individuals can settle into the new organizational DNA, hooked into the power source. 

What improvements in teamwork, ways of working, performance management, organizational design, incentive programs, and inclusion and belonging are actually metabolized in your organizations?  How can you fire up and improve your metabolic rate? 

Priming change for easy absorption.

First, consider how you are designing improvements in work. Do you have a mix of internal cultural understanding and fresh outside perspectives? (Hint hint) Next, are you getting insights from all levels in psychologically safe ways…that are fast and actionable? 

We find that co-creation is at the heart of acceptance of new ideas. Individuals and teams who feel included in the design process will metabolize change more quickly and effectively. 

Inclusive work improvement design has an ongoing ripple effect, too. It can be designed to flexibly integrate new information and continually adjust and grow. 

Communication: Are your ideas the world’s best-kept secret? 

You can do incredible work, yet if it’s not well communicated, it’s just a beautiful thing that isn’t really seen or absorbed. Clear communication makes change easier to digest.

We’re working with a leader right now who is a magnetic communicator. She starts talking, and everyone tilts their head forward—even on Zoom. As she launched a re-org for 2024, we suggested she use more video snippets. Otherwise, it’s like fantastic art that never makes it out of the basement. Bring it upstairs, put a light on it, try disco lights at night, give it a soundtrack, and make it ALIVE! 

Clear language, repeated storytelling (neuroscience!), and multi-modal approaches can all help make information more memorable and impactful when the audience starts telling the story for you. 

How do you know if it’s working? (Do you know?)

If you’ve re-orged or rolled out new ways of working, how’s it going? How do you know? If the answers are not totally clear, you are not alone. 

We’re seeing more questions come to us from C-Leaders outside the HR/PeopleOps role. CEOs, COOs, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Commercial Officers, and VPs of divisions… all looking to improve their teams’ way of working. 

Many have worked with big consulting firms. Some shared that the process was time-consuming, expensive, and worse yet, the changes didn’t have the metabolism we’re talking about. It was more like organ rejection. 

With hybrid working and leadership turnover, they’ve been asking for what we offer.  

How we are fine-tuning our approach for our clients.

We’re working with new technology partners to find short, clear, fast, less biased ways of getting at how the work is actually happening. 

An intense interest in modern ways of working is part of Forshay’s DNA. With layoffs, re-orgs, and leadership changes… how can we help you go faster and more nimbly to reach your stretch goals for 2024? 

We’re here to help you stretch, over-achieve, yet not exhaust yourself or burn out your teams. Yes, it is possible! We lift, support, and make good sh*t happen. 

All without the big consulting firm budgets and long timeframes. 

Let’s do this. 

“Your consultant did a great job on the website, updating brand guidelines, and creating blog content.” –Jeni Corso, Head of People, VUMEDI