Monthly Archives: June 2010

Changing Behavior Starts with Connecting the Dots

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“People need to play bigger!”  This was something a leader announced to his organization about how they could transform their business.  He had conviction and passion… but he also had everyone is his organization utterly confused.  Play bigger?  What did that mean?  How on earth were several thousand people going to put such a vague directive into action? 

When people are asked to change, we need to be specific about what is expected.  Sometimes it might seem like we are stating the obvious and not giving people enough credit to think for themselves.  But people need the dots connected for them when they are asked to change… and they need the dots drawn very close together and connected with a big fat marker.

What is expected of me?  What should I do?  It may seem obvious to leaders, but it is often times not to the people who need to shift the way they work. 

Getting more specific eliminates confusion and misdirected efforts.  Knowing very clearly what actions they should take helps people focus on conquering small concrete goals to build their confidence.  And pride in even small accomplishments helps accelerate a person’s ability to absorb the change.    

Once people pick up the behaviors, they will internalize them and make them their own.  They will start to build on the new behaviors and improve on them.  They will come up with ideas for how they can be even more accountable without being asked because this will be their new standard of behavior.

Managing Change.. a Tough Job, But Someone’s Gotta do it

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Fox Business recently published one of Stacy’s articles about how much work it takes to manage change is a great overview of some of the hard work that makes change happen.

Managing change doesn’t just happen… there is a LOT of hard work that goes into it.  Developing the right strategies to overcome resistance, ensuring that leaders are saying and doing the things that make people care, communicating the right messages at the right times and in the right ways, developing and fostering the right skills in the right people, reinforcing and rewarding the right behaviors… and the list goes on.

Start with a Change Management Plan

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Would you build a house or redecorate a room without a plan?  Then why on earth would you try to implement a change in your organization without a plan? 

When organizations go about changing, the hardest work is almost always related to people.  Getting people ready, willing and able to work differently is easier said than done.  Defining a vision is important, but translating that vision into real change is an entirely different challenge that is where the rubber really meets the road.    

Planning for change involves assessing the needs of individuals and the organization and then developing plans to help people change their behaviors. Good planning helps you identify poeple issues related to the proposed change before they trip you up.  

Take it step-by-step.  Proactively manage the change… just start with a plan.