Over the past few weeks I have had a chance to meet with some leaders whose current engagement at work involves dealing with a huge amount of change across a variety of functions. So even though one of the earlier posts had been dedicated to the subject of management of change, I am creating another one. Such situations always demand novel approaches and experimentation and force one to try and explore new dimensions in your quest to be successful.
It is quite obvious that for anything to change, someone has to start acting differently. If the magnitude of change is large and profound, almost everyone has to be doing so. Ultimately the success of all change efforts boils down to the same mission – can you get people to start behaving in a new way. That requires serious personal motivation. And for motivations to be sustained, we all understand quite well that you have got to influence and impact the hearts and minds.
People embrace lots of big changes in their lives – relationships, marriage, babies, new geographies, new homes, different job responsibilities, technology upgradations. Some other habits are tougher to do away with, if they ever go away at all – smoking and drinking for instance. The magnitude of each such endeavour is large and therefore the moot question is – how should one approach so that the task is accomplished and at the same time the change process gets ingrained, embedded within the organisation. The topic is extremely broad and I will simply touch upon just one perspective here.
My firm belief is that small amounts of consistent and regular incremental efforts lead to tremendously positive results over time. So just break the task into many small milestones and go after each with a zeal. Small targets lead to little victories that can then trigger a positive spiral of behaviour.
Know of a wonderful couple, married for 10 years but fighting for the previous two. Counselling did not help progress matters much. And then a surprise kiss made all the difference. The wife was caught off-guard – in a nice way. She started doing little things she had given up – cooking what the spouse loved to eat, brewing coffee, holding hands and going for an after dinner walk. Their individual work environments began to notice the difference in their attitudes. The husband’s kiss launched a positive spiral and the other small steps sustained it!
Big changes always come from a succession of small, successful changes. The first few may seem almost trivial, perhaps may not even get the attention you desire. But those mini/micro victories influence the heart and the mind in a unique way. They generate hope that change is possible and will be for the better. There is no stopping after that.
Over the past couple of years I have come across many examples of success through this approach and therefore the convictions have only gotten stronger. Will be helpful to get your views too.