I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working with leading midsized companies in the technology industry to implement transformational change. You know, the kind of change that gets bone-deep and influences behavior and the long-term culture of an organization. Most of what I’ve learned about change came out of this amazing book. I thought I’d cover some of the high points for those of you who’ve never had the opportunity to read this little gem. Here goes…
It’s Not About Rational Thought: If you think you’re going to be able to research and analyze your way to change, you are likely to end up disappointed. Change is not about rational persuasion and influence. Don’t get me wrong; you should ABSOLUTELY study and gather empirical evidence to inform your changes. But, when you get around to implementing the positive changes, you MUST realize that you cannot talk people into changing through logic and rational persuasion. Change happens only and best when you “show” people the future in emotionally warm visions that help them to decide on an emotional level that they NEED to change to end up in that happy place. Don’t try to talk your way to change, try to SHOW your way to change by touching your colleagues on an emotional level.
Prepare Your Colleagues: Too many people resist change and run from it when it appears. This is obviously not ideal. The trick is to talk about change in positive terms and to remind your team that MOST change is actually positive, like antibiotics, jet aircraft, the internet. Where would we be today without these incredibly valuable changes? Teach your people to anticipate change and to look forward to it in advance. When change arrives, when they are armed with a growth-oriented abundance mindset, their positive attitude will carry them through the changes in record time compared to those who dread and resist change.
The 8 Step Change Model: Kotter and Cohen advocate and describe in this outstanding book an eight-step model for leading positive change that will transform your organization or your family, depending upon where you decide to implement it. Here are the eight steps of leading positive transformational change:
- Create A Sense Of Urgency
- Create A Team Of Committed Change Leaders
- Craft A Vision By Painting Pictures Of The Future
- Communicate Candidly To Drive Commitment
- Anticipate & Remove Obstacles While Rewarding Positive Action
- Create Quick Wins To Build Positive Momentum
- Keep Moving Forward Positively: Protect Momentum
- Embed The Positive Changes In Culture Permanently
That’s a start. We won’t go into detail today about each of these steps to leading positive transformational change. We’ll cover each of those steps in our next two posts, where we’ll go into a bit of ‘how to’ information to help you implement change positively in YOUR organization and along the way, transforming your culture forever. Visit our next couple of articles which will explore each of these fantastic steps, four steps at a time. With no more than these three articles, you’ll be equipped to transform the culture at your organization in no time.
Michael Beach is an award-winning Leader and Executive Development Coach who works with C-Suite Executives, their Leadership Teams, and their Emerging Leaders. Michael helps midsized technology companies to avoid bottlenecks and to develop the next generation of leaders so that their companies can maximize the opportunities in the marketplace and establish Leadership Brand. If you’d like to speak with Michael about working with you, your leadership team, or your Emerging Leaders, send Michael an email at email@example.com. Michael will reward all inquiries with a handful of his Best Practices tools with no cost or obligation. Cheers!