Culture change CAN happen overnight!
I was telling a colleague earlier this week about an important initiative we are working on with a large organization that is going through an industry defining transformation. Our partnership is over a series of face to face meetings (our research proves that this is the best way to effect sustainable change, typically every 4-6 weeks) and we had successfully completed session 2 and were scheduling session 3. Between each session, we ask our clients to complete a mission – the application of what we have discussed and agreed in our last session – all in service of embedding the new behaviors and, frankly, making it easier for the leader participants to do get their desired results individually and as a team. In the process, I had a conversation with a client this week that basically went like this;
Client: “We need more time to make changes happen.”
Me: “If we schedule the meeting now, it will be 5 weeks since we last met – how much time do you need?”
Client: “Maybe a few more weeks, perhaps a month.”
Me: “If behaviors aren’t changing in 4 weeks, they won’t change in 100 weeks”.
The bottom line, when it comes to people behaving differently at work, is that it’s entirely possible to make an immediate shift. Sure, processes, technology, structures, reporting lines, rules, and so on won’t necessarily change overnight, though for the brave people who want to achieve change, or those who need to make change happen, they can certainly do so.
Effective change doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be all encompassing, and it doesn’t need to wait until you have permission. Simply by changing your mindset, you can change your behavior, and that in and of itself, can lead to new results.
In our increasingly complex world, we have to be more agile and we have to continue to evolve. Waiting for other people to change their work or the rules that govern our work gives away our personal power. Gone are the days where we needed to color within the lines. Instead, let’s ask whether the lines are relevant, and if not, let’s ignore them.
After running up against this issue many times, I draw on my experience and when in this situation I say to clients the following: If I had a time machine and I could fast forward to when we would be in the room in the next session, that at the end of the session, each of the leader participants would agree that the session was powerful and impactful, AND that they should have held it sooner. So as I told my colleague, it’s easy for us to see beyond the day to day happenings, pressures, and workloads that our clients are facing, and to recognize that change has to happen anyway, but it’s up to the clients to make the decision to hold the next session, just as it is up to each leader participant to decide whether they are going to embrace changing their mindset and their behaviors in service of new results.
Rob Whitfield, CEO, shares his experience through a combination of keynote speaking, coaching, and consulting services to organizations around the world. If you’d like your team to be more agile in mindsets, behaviors, and practices, and to achieve some of the benefits that are well within reach, get in touch and we can explore how you can empower your people to want to aim higher, together. Not only will your results speak for themselves, but you’ll have more control, satisfaction, and joy in your day to day work. Follow me on LinkedIn, or get in touch to start shifting your results.