Friday, October 8, 2010

Of Course, I Can!

I was recently reviewing an older article about making changes that exploded a lot of myths. I had remembered the refutation of the myth that people in a crisis will change. 90% of heart disease patients, who have had coronary bypass surgery, don't change their lifestyle. They continue their "evil" ways that got them into trouble in the first place.

Alan Deutschman, the author, wasn't encouraging because CEO's aren't any better at adopting change. Business gurus often declare that top management needs to drive change. However, if they're not any better at changing behaviors that got the organization in trouble, then change needs to come from someplace else. See my other blogs about it coming from anyone who wants to change the organization. I call the practice "Guerrilla Change". To see a book excerpt, go to Deutschman's article "Making Change" was published in Fast Company magazine in May 2005.

Change is supposed to be motivated by fear (like a crisis). However, most of us go into a state of emotional paralysis (really, it's denial), not a state of "fight or flight" which implies action. Encouraging, positive images of the future is more motivating. In this case, we're motivated more by pleasure than by pain. (See my blog "Corporate Culture Change--Step 4".)

Nearly 30 years ago, I believe, IBM did a study and found that positivity was more motivating for improving quality than using negative metrics or comments.

It's hope that keeps us going. Hope that our performance will improve (that's why we set up teams to look into problem areas, why we start continous improvement programs). Hope that the results will be worth the pain (think of any exercise routine). Hope that we'll recognize the change for the good. Hope that change will tell others that we're doing okay, and security (of a job, of a relationship) exists.

No comments:

Post a Comment