Change is Hard: Here are 5 ways to Accomplish It

At the beginning of each year, many of us resolve to make changes to make the new  year better. For instance, we may resolve to lose weight – by exercising and eating more healthy food , and/or increasing sales and profits  – by increasing price/value and reducing costs through more effective use of staff. The problem is we start out with good intentions and then, if we’re not getting immediate reinforcement that our methods are working, we stop. The fitness industry sees this every year: it starts with lots of new clients, and many start dropping out by the end of the first month.

Daniel Lock wrote a blog for Innovation Excellence that identified 5 behaviors that enable us to execute more effectively:

  • Share a compelling story with a clear purpose to create a sense of urgency. Whether you’re supported at home by a network of friends and family, or you’re changing the company in which case you need to engage other leaders/managers, this is a powerful technique. John Kotter first identified the need to create a sense of purpose and urgency in order to make the change the purpose of the story is to clearly state objectives and processes, and engage your supportive players so they can visualize the future state, understand the risks and obstacles, and commit to doing their part to help effective change.
  • Paint a picture of opportunity. You need to spark people’s growth-mindset so they see how they, too, can grow by doing their part. Their support means giving up current daily practices in order to make time to implement the changes they must make in their routines. They need to visualize themselves in their new roles.
  • Discover what is not working. Leaders must fully understand what behaviors he/she, and the support group are engaged in which are counterproductive to the new change. Sleeping late or buying unhealthy food for the household, or  holding long, unproductive meetings which don’t focus on accountability and individuals committing to make changes, are counterproductive activities
  • Determine why it’s not working. Everyone must understand why the current behaviors are causing the problem that you want to change. Awareness by your supportive players is critical, if they are going to change the counterproductive behaviors.
  • Encourage a Participative and collaborative approach. The point is that you are more likely to succeed if you create a culture which encourages people to make all the changes they have to make to help you make your change. Create a culture that recognizes the risks, and encourages people to accept initial failures in making changes, and rewards ongoing learn for what else can be done to develop new personal habits and/or work processes so every player is a part of the success.

Use these insights to effect the changes you want this year. Then learn from the successes to apply the system to effect more changes throughout the year and in the future.

Share with us what your “change” goals are for 2019 are, how you’re creating a sense of purpose and urgency for yourself and your support group, and then let us know in future months how you are succeeding. If things aren’t working out, share the situation with us, so we can be part of your support group committed to helping you win in the battle for change.

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