It is true to say that managing change and growth is exciting and fills the air with optimism. However at times it is also stressful for all concerned not least because the change element feels unsettling for employees who are used to the past.
Every seven years all the cells in the human body are replaced (not all at once – thank God!) and we sort of go through a rebirth allowing our bodies to fight on! Business is similar. Re-morphing is essential to stay relevant to the customers and markets.
At WOW Toys we have built our business using a firm and simple business model that has been repeated year on year. Last year the output from a strategic review, using top ex-Procter & Gamble business strategists, gave forth a new way forward. The plans are being enacted and change is upon WOW Toys. During such times it is important that everyone at WOW has a ‘buddy’, someone who listens and understands the stresses that change brings and offers emotional comfort without being judgemental.
Introducing WOW Buddy (the Cockapoo dog) whose core, unpaid, role at WOW is to be played with all day long in the office. Buddy walks, runs, jumps, barks and sits on people's laps whilst important emails to Russia or Tesco are being hammered out. We all love Buddy and play tug of war, catch the ball, football and so on with him. In doing so we are all much more productive, happy and somewhat stress free as we (WOW) circumnavigates the globe via a new route to business growth and continued financial prosperity.
Buddy gets to wear different seasonal hats and some employees bring him special treats. Twice a week Buddy is joined in the office by his smaller half-brother called Sammy and then things really gear up a notch! Much laughter, shrilling, woofing and subsequent relaxation whilst working prevails.
I have no idea how we would manage change so well without our four pawed friends. Truth is we all need a Buddy in our work environments. Is it time you got a tax deductible Buddy?
Nadim is the CEO of WOW Toys - you can see a Case Study with him on expanding across the globe here