How do we shift from old behaviors to new?
When it comes to change initiatives, at Ferrazzi Greenlight we place a lot of value on having the right mindsets, getting the organization’s broader ecosystem to buy in to co-creating the most impactful ways of working, and having a “never let each other fail” approach. As fundamental as all of this is to delivering results, it’s only the beginning of a transformational journey that many organizations tend to make more difficult than it could be.
Recently, we finished a significant engagement with a global healthcare leader that is recognized as an innovator in the oncology field, and one that produces some of the most progressive, life-saving medicines. Everyone in this organization clearly shares the goal of serving patients faster and more effectively, and they even have a proactive Research and Development team that is constantly looking for and testing out new ways of working. One of the R&D initiatives they had started was to implement new ways of working that would foster even better collaboration throughout the organization. These included; asking the right questions to arrive at the best solution, and prioritizing the most important work for the most impactful results. People in the organization largely supported the initiative and put their best effort into making it happen but when it came to measuring results, the R&D team realized they were achieving only small and limited adoption of the new ways of working which was not aligned to their ambitious plans.
We discovered through our initial diagnostics with them that in order to supercharge their results, they needed to break down the new behaviors they wanted people to adopt into smaller, more manageable pieces. At Ferrazzi Greenlight, we call these High-Return Practices: specific, repeatable, coachable actions that are easy to implement, and that drive significant behavior change and results. Moreover, we suggested they co-create those pieces with their teams through a pilot, giving them time to test those practices out in different settings, gathering feedback, and iterating for maximum impact.
The bottom line here is that the process of making the transition from old behaviors to the new behaviors is challenging, even when everyone in the organization is on board. So, to achieve the highest results, change leadership needs to co-create simple, easy to replicate practices and make them a natural extension of the teams’ day to day work, rather than forcing pre-made, rigorous solutions upon them – especially when they are amorphous or where it’s difficult to coach people on the changes.
We are still celebrating the impact this approach to change has had on the results of our client. Getting people to adopt new behaviors through the implementation of new everyday tools and real-life practices enabled them to embed the new behaviors more deeply into teams, have a stronger impact, and to truly transform drug development.
Rob Whitfield is the CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a behavior engineering company that provides 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. Follow me on LinkedIn, or get in touch to start shifting your results.