Speaker Insight – Rupert Bryce

Written by Jane Peacock

April 13, 2020

After 20 years working in digital, we are now hit with the requirement to change fast. Digital is all we have – but why is it still so difficult to change? Why are some of us still finding it hard to adopt and adapt?


This has been a question I have pondered for a long time. For those of us working as the digital enablers, it seems a great place to be, but perhaps that’s not the case for everyone. So how can we enable more business leaders to lean into digital without the fear?

Perhaps it’s by enabling and translating and lighting a spark of curiosity.

The promise of digital is that we can access…

  • opportunities to engage with customers in a more meaningful way
  • opportunities to re-package our business value in ways that connect with a tangible customer need
  • opportunities to scale our story and thus our impact

To access these opportunities takes collaborative effort and change is something we need to understand more deeply. 

As part of the series for the  DIGITAL BOOTCAMP for leaders, I interviewed Rupert Bryce, a psychologist who works with leaders as the director of Performance Strategies. I have long admired Rupert’s ability to make the connection between the light and the dark of human qualities. So it is no surprise that he brought that to the conversation around change and perhaps fear of change in light of the digital context. He shared some valuable and actionable steps you can take and the topics we touched on included;

  • that our ability to change should be measured against how long we have held a specific belief or operated with specific behaviour. So if we have not engaged with digital for ten years, it may take a year to embrace the shift.
  • the role of sense-making and how anxiety and stress can disable our abilities to do so. How this is something we need to undertake ourselves and that seeking external inputs and advice can help with this process.
  • the importance of meaning-making and that this is our role leaders to communicate who we are and who we want to be.

As a digital leader, I see point one as important as Rupert shared the insight that people need time and perhaps help to navigate this new world that is almost entirely digital, and it needs to be their choice.

RUPERTS next steps you can take if you need help.

  1. Gain awareness of where you are at. Why you are in the current position you are in and what is keeping you there.
  2. Insights from the ‘Underberg’: This is where you might need some help asking assumption busting questions.
  3. Create a forces for and against list: One one side of the paper, write all the reasons why you could avoid change. What is the compelling reason for making you stay put? On the other side of the paper, compile a list of what you are heading towards. What is the prize if you do change?
  4. Get help when change is the big challenge: Consider if the person is qualified. Understand their modality/ style. Check if you will have a connection with them and that you can trust them. And shop around.

You can connect with Rupert Bryce via the directory of partners in the DIGITAL BOOTCAMP resources

Register for the #teamdigital bootcamp

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