3 keys to make change stick
Thursday, November 06, 2014
As a keynote speaker, I'm often called upon to help an organization's employees reframe the changes they are undergoing, and to move them from a sense of angst and confusion to a sense of purpose and conviction. Bringing in an outsider is helpful because your employees want to know that others have gone through similar experiences, and they are eager to learn from the experiences of others.
Are you planning or in the midst of significant change in your organization? The keynote that inspires and galvanizes a team is but one ingredient in any successful change effort. Here are three things you can do to ensure the change sticks.
1. Change is about people
It doesn't matter if you are bringing in a new system or implementing a new structure, what has to change is the attitudes and the work processes of the team. A powerful speaker can help you in shifting attitudes, but how people work on a day-to-day basis cannot be delegated to an outsider. You need to be clear about the new behaviors you want to see in your people, and you need to be prepared to coach them through the change.
2. Focus on outcomes
People are goal-oriented by nature. Implementing new processes or structures without articulating a clear reason why will only result in frustration. When you can paint a picture of the outcome you are pursuing, not only do you provide context for the changes, but — more importantly — you also help people understand the importance of their role in the new world.
3. Offer stability
On a subjective level, those going through change often exaggerate the magnitude of the change. They often feel like their whole world is being turned upside down. In order to mitigate this false perception, it's just as important to articulate what is not going to change as it is to articulate what is changing. This often-overlooked communication can have an incredibly stabilizing effect on your team.
Change is inevitable. Bringing in an outsider can be a powerful jolt in getting your people to embrace change. Be sure, however, to integrate that jolt with these other three elements to ensure that your change sticks.
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