“We want to change but the culture here is just too deeply embedded”.
A more traditional approach to tackling the problem of change within an organisation could be some encouraging words from senior management, a selection of PowerPoint slides detailing the company’s new Aims & Objectives or a departmental team building session… which we all know, rarely has any lasting impact.
The current thinking is that mindsets need to be changed so that behaviours do too; if your people are told to act differently (and hopefully why) then they will… However studies tells us that when behaviours become routine our mindset adopts them as an intrinsic part of the way we act and do. In other words, yes the mindset needs changed, however that will only happen when the behaviours are determined first
When we look at some of the greatest leaders in the world (whether Martin Luther King Jr, Field Marshall Montgomery or Ghandi) and look at how they built momentous change, they all found a platform to deliver inspirational words that connected on an emotional level. Inspiring real change however came from not only their army of influencers who repeated again and again their approach and direction but their values and ethics aligned perfectly with the change they wanted to see in the world.
John Shook was the first American to be hired by the Japanese firm Toyota and what he observed there was not a team of managers telling their workforce what to think and how to do their work but a series of practices that encouraged experimentation, reflection and improvement. Creativity is required to experiment and with experimentation failure is inevitable. At Toyota failure was expected, and this provided a crucial ‘safety net’ to encourage further creativity.
I love this 5 minute video of Dan Pink explaining what really motivates us. Have a look and then imagine how powerful this knowledge could be when a shift in behaviour is required.