Was working on a governance project ands felt like I should share this gem.
Addressing behavior change
When trying to change an organization’s habits we will quickly realize that the reason many organizations struggle is because it’s hard work to instill successful change. Whether we are changing individual habits or an entire organization’s habits, the key is to plan carefully and build a proper foundation for the change. Through planning, implementing change becomes easier and your chances of success are greatly improved.
To enable successful change, there are suggested steps for success:
- Create a sense of urgency (Not an environment of frenzied work and endless meetings). This is about creating more communication in the workplace to explain the change initiative and may include a web page dedicated to the project, regular e-mail blasts about the change initiative, a bulletin board to solicit feedback, perhaps a Yammer/Teams, or other techniques through in-person or social media connections.
- Find effective and powerful change leaders in your organization. These change leaders will be found at all levels of the organization. Sometimes I find that the best change leaders are the people at the very bottom of the totem pole. They tend to see and hear much more of the ‘daily grind’ than those in the upper positions and are well positioned to recruit supporters for organization-wide change initiatives.
- Build and communicate a vision. We need to ask Why is the change important? What impact will it create for the organization? If we aren’t certain about the answers to those questions, it will be difficult to communicate how the change will impact the organization or how the change will be implemented. Work with change leaders in your organization to develop the strategy and then walk the talk. Communicate your change strategy, so that staff understand the organization’s common objectives. What we do is far more important and believable than what we say. Demonstrating the kind of behavior that we want from others in our organization will impact the success of the change initiative.
- Remove obstacles to change. This means converting the organization’s resisters and continually checking for barriers to change. Empower people to execute the vision by recognizing and rewarding those that make change happen; and help the resisters through coaching.
- Look for quick wins. This will serve to motivate everyone. With a huge project planned, don’t wait until the entire project is completed five years down the road to congratulate everybody for the great job they’ve done. Look at perhaps every three or six months to do casual get-togethers and reward those people that have really made a difference to the project.
- Continue building momentum. It is very important to keep building momentum for the project until the change initiative is solidly grounded in ‘maintenance’ and is no longer in ‘development’ or ‘project’ mode this is shown by a Harvard study that found that the failure rate for change initiatives is two out of every three. After every milestone is reached in the project, analyze what went right and what needs to occur to keep improving.
- Integrate the change initiative into the organization’s culture. Once the project is implemented, it becomes part of routine and is integrated into the organization’s culture. However, keeping the change initiative “on the agenda” is an easy way to ensure that the change is no longer new. It becomes engrained into daily routine and, as a result, a successful change.