Doing just one thing doesn’t create change

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How often do you need to initiate a change? Whether you’re pursuing a new priority, building new capabilities or cutting costs… somewhere along the way you will want to change something in your organisation.

The challenge, as you know, is getting people to change their behaviour. That’s where sayings come from about leading horses to water, teaching people to catch fish, monkey see monkey do, or using carrots and sticks.

Metaphors aside, what we learn over time is that doing just one thing isn’t enough to trigger lasting change in behaviour. It takes several actions to reinforce the change.

That’s why I like the change model that I first saw at McKinsey called “the four building blocks of change”. The blocks are: explaining what the change is and why it’s needed, adjusting systems and processes, providing skills and tools, and role modelling desired behaviour.

Source: McKinsey

These actions influence people to change by engaging their sense of motivation, obligation, and belonging, while giving them the means to do so.

Does this resonate with you? If you have a change initiative relying on one change action, would adding some of the others give it a boost? Let me know what you think.

© 2021 Veridia Consulting