Making change work!

I moved to a new house but, I continued to walk home to my old one?

One may quickly question the sanity of this individual as it goes without saying that ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’, Henry Ford.

But, ‘how do you facilitate change in your organisation?’

When processes, product lines, strategies, company beliefs and values are changed, are the impact that these changes have on the workforce even considered? Will employees be required to work differently and how will this be supported?

Change has become a constant and managing it has become an expanding discipline. Yet, research states that ‘70% of change projects fail due to resistance to change’, Beer & Nohria.

How leaders facilitate behavioural change determines how employees embrace change, as well as the outcome for their organisation.

It’s natural for individuals to resist change. Oftentimes they don’t believe in their own ability to change; with doubts arising like ‘am I able to do this new job?; ‘will I shine in this new world, as I did before?’; and it seems easier to retain the status quo, than to rally behind transformational change.

My latest research focuses on changing behaviour in 3 months, with a success rate of over 70%, which balances the odds of your change programme failing.

By training and coaching individuals through change, it feels far less uncomfortable.

Are you letting your employees take the long route home? Or, are you ensuring that new behaviours clear the path to success?

Let’s talk!

What would motivate you to change?

What would motivate you to change? Money, what other people think, or is it something else?

As a coach and someone who is interested in changing behaviour, I’m curious to know what inspires individuals to make a decision to behave differently.

Daniel Kahneman, a nobel prize winner and recognised psychologist, notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, challenges the assumption of human rationality. In his book, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, he suggests that individuals are driven more strongly to avoid losses than to achieve gains; individuals are not only loss averse but are also motivated by the negative instead of the positive e.g. if an individual were to be offered a good sum of money to finish a project, they may not finish it, yet they may finish the project if their job is threatened. I’m not suggesting that managers use the stick instead of the carrot, going forward, but this is definitely food for thought.

The book goes on to discuss how individuals are nudged by ‘what other people think or do’. Many of us have stayed in hotel rooms which use a sign in the bathroom, requesting guests to ‘Save the planet and use your towel again.’ Kahneman’s research however shows that using the sign, ‘Join the 75% of our guests, who re-used their towel’, had a greater impact in re-usage than the average. 10% more, in fact! Small changes can have enormous impact.

Companies can change all that they want (processes, management, new ways of working, reorganisations, etc.) but it’s the individuals working in those companies, that need to embrace and implement change. Without the support of individuals, change doesn’t happen. So how are people motivated to change?

How are you motivated as an individual?

Or, how does your company guarantee successful change?

I welcome you to share your comments.

Further recommended reading:

  1. Nudge (improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness), Thaler & Sunstein
  2. The power of Habit (Why we do what we do and how to change), Charles Duhigg
  3. The Marshmallow Test (understanding self-control and how to master it), Walter Mischel
  4. Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman