When I have offered a workshop or facilitated an organizational development intervention with a client, change is absolutely a desired outcome. Whether a workshop or an intervention, the goal is to develop and support a new behavior that improves or increases organizational or individual performance/effectiveness.
What's powerful about the Fast Company article is that it's telling us that we cannot assume that change will occur just because we convey information, even if that information makes it painfully clear that without change, one will die (or its business equivalent).
The following bulleted items are the characteristics the author felt need to be in place for change to occur. The conversation I would like to have here is how do we as trainers or consultants incorporate or adopt these characteristics in our work with clients? (In my new position at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, we are engaging grantmakers in how to change their way of doing business in order to be more effective grantmakers.)
Here are the characteristics the author said need to be in place for change to result from learning:
- Speak to people's feelings, describing problems/solutions in ways that influence emotions, not just thought;
- Recast / reframe the reasons for change away from something frightening to think about (in this case, death) to a new vision for living. "Joy is a more powerful motivator than fear." [I thought this shed some additional light on why the practice of Appreciative Inquiry has been gaining in popularity-- it focuses on the positive, not the negative.]
- The story must be simple, easy to identify with, emotionally resonate, and evocative of positive experiences.
- Radical, sweeping, comprehensive changes are often easier for people than small, incremental ones. [This one surprised me the most.]
- Identify, achieve and celebrate quick, positive results for the vital emotional lifts they provide; "without sufficient wins that are visible, timely, unambiguous, and meaningful to others, change efforts invariably run into serious problems."
- Support the change; give support where needed.
- Grease the brain's machinery for learning by having employees engage in "mental rejuvination" activities from learning a new language or musical instrument to spending a day a week working at a different function in their job!
Missing from this list is Peter Hunter's point that
conditions of ownership also need to be present in order for change to happen.
So how do you design your workshops or consulting interventions such that they will result in CHANGE?